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The Indian Express
22 September 2012

Physically challenged Nadas Sultan has been looking at ending his three–year unemployment spell. On Friday, the 26–year–old got a shot at landing a private sector job and made the most of it, crossing the preliminary interview at a job fair.

Sultan, an electrician who has studied up to Class XI, was interviewed by a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company.

"I can’t believe I made it. Hopefully, the next stage should also be easy. I am hoping I will be selected," said Sultan, who lives behind the Pune railway station.

Sultan is among the 82 differently abled candidates who cleared the initial phase of interviews in a first–of–its kind job fair of private companies hosted by the state disability commissionerate and in which 13 companies participated. There are 270 jobs on offer.

Disability Commissioner Bajirao Jadhav said it’s the first time they are tying up with the private sector to scout for job openings for the differently abled.

"It is mandatory in the government sector to have 3 per cent jobs reserved for the differently abled. From 2010 we were able to come out with 6,000 vacancies. We have been able to fill 4,000 in the last two years. However the process has been very slow. The private sector joining us for the job fair is a welcome move for candidates who would not have to wait for long. The first–of–its–kind job fair has generated a good response," said Jadhav.

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District social welfare officer Sanjay Kadam said the response is good. IBM, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Lemon Tree, WNS Global, AGC Network, Kroma, Future group, Costa Coffee, Dominoes Pizza, Emphasis, Blackberry garments and Aegis participated. "They needed 270 people. We shortlisted 305 and 82 of them were selected in the preliminary interview. These candidates are set to have the second round of interviews to be held by the companies," said Kadam.

"I was tired waiting for an opportunity in the government sector," said 28–year–old Rupesh Pawar who got through the first round. Pawar from Phugewadi who was selected by a BPO company said it was good that the private sector was showing interest.

Ugantar Jangam, campus relationship manager, Wipro BPO said it was their first bid at hiring differently abled employees. "We interviewed about 30 and selected around seven for our unit at Hinjewadi," he said. He said it would take another two weeks of assessment for the final selection. He said it was a good experience and all the candidates were deserving. He said they would participate in similar job fairs.

Jadhav said he plans to hold similar job fairs in the entire division as well as other divisions. "Minister (Social Justice) Shivajirao Moghe had visited the job fair and there was a discussion to replicate it in all revenue divisions," said Jadhav. They also plan to reach out to the MCCIA for a tie–up with smallscale units for recruitment of labour force

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