This study was conducted by the National Center for Promotion of Employment for people with disability, an organization working as an interface between the Government, industry, non–governmental organizations and international agencies, to promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities in India. The aim of the study was to identify the current practices of Indian industry with regard to the employment of people with disability, three years after the People With Disabilities Act was passed. This Act, as mentioned earlier reserves three per cent of all categories of jobs in the public sector industries for persons with disability, and incentives for public and private sector companies, that have at least 5% of their workforce comprising persons with disability.
For this study, a sample of 150 corporate houses was chosen, by including in the sample all the corporate houses listed in the ‘Super 100 ranking of the corporate sector’ by Business India, the leading business magazine of India. The listing was carried out by the magazine by ranking Indian industry on four parameters, such as sales, profits, assets and market capitalization for the financial year 1997–98. Twenty companies in this sample were public sector companies, while 65 were private sector Indian companies and 15 were multinational companies. A questionnaire which elicited the total number of employees of the company, the number of persons with disability who were employed and the types of disabilities found in them, was mailed to all the 100 companies in the sample, in January 1999. The responses were collected by the end of March 1999.
Of the 100 companies to whom the questions were sent, only 70 responded. The total number of employees in these companies was 7,96,363 of which 3,160 were persons with disability including the visually impaired – 9.87%, those suffering from loco–motor impairment – 70.57%, speech and hearing impaired – 8.26%, the mentally retarded – 0.66%, those with other disabilities – 1.87%, consisting of 0.4% of the employees. Among the companies who responded, 50 (71.43%) companies had employed persons with disability.
This study provides the evidence that even after three years of implementing a policy of job reservation for persons with disability through a law, the targets achieved fall short grossly, to 13% of the desirable level. Even this level of achievement is only fulfilled through the employment of people with a relatively mild degree of disability.
- Government of India. The Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection Of Rights And Full Participation) Act. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, New Delhi, 1995.
- Super 100 Ranking of the Corporate Sector, Business India, Mumbai 1998, November 16: 97–98.