Amazon India has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to engage with employable youth with a disability.
The agreement which extends until March 2024 will provide skilling and job opportunities to tens of thousands of persons with disabilities (PwDs) across the country, through job fairs.
The agreement focuses on skilling, certification and entrepreneurship. It is designed specifically to enable and position PwD participation in mainstream society in line with the vision on inclusive development, and self-reliance to build an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
Through this initiative, Amazon aims to provide people with disability, the required support, training and intervention by creating an environment of acceptance and inclusion coupled with a sensitised experience.
Amazon will support interventions by the Ministry in their resource centres across India.
Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar said, “This initiative will empower and create a brighter future for People with Disabilities. Private sector’s empathy, and participation will assist in providing more job and entrepreneurship opportunities. The social and financial empowerment of PWDs is extremely important in realising prime minister’s vision for a self-reliant nation. I welcome Amazon India’s initiative towards building a more inclusive workforce.”
Akhil Saxena, VP, customer fulfilment – APAC, MENA, LATAM and WW Customer Service, Amazon, said, “At Amazon India, we foster a culture that is conducive to growth and offers people equal opportunities to unlock their full potential. Persons with Disabilities in India face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment. With this project, we aim to focus on skilling and livelihood-oriented empowerment for PwDs, over a period of 12 to 24 months. This complements our existing programs to provide direct employment opportunities to under-represented cohorts.”
Amazon also signed an MoU with Sarthak Educational Trust (SET) for a special grant of Rs 25 million towards reducing the skill gap in employable young PwDs, through a state-of-the-art Global Resource Centre (GRC).
The grant will be used to create a centre of excellence for employment and vocational training within Sarthak Global Resource Centre to support its effort to mainstream disability. The programme will enable tens of thousands of people with a disability to register for employment via an exclusive job portal app. Along with supporting the operational costs for the job portal, Amazon will also be the knowledge partner to develop the online and offline training modules for e-commerce skilling.
In addition to this focus on skilling PwDs, Amazon runs various programmes for diverse underrepresented cohorts encompassing not just PwDs but also women, military veterans and people from the LGBTQIA+ community. The Company has pioneered the ‘Silent Delivery Station’ through the Delivery Service Partner programme in Mumbai in January 2017. This station is run by individuals with speech and hearing impairment.
This initiative has now expanded across Amazon’s operations network across the country. Additionally, Amazon India has actively employed PwD in corporate roles including junior and mid management roles.