To create a structured skill-development programme and enabling mechanism for bringing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into the mainstream economy, Flipkart, the e-commerce marketplace, has signed an MoU with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) and Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD) in New Delhi.
As per the agreement, over the next two years, Flipkart will work with DEPwD and SCPwD to jointly create structured skill-development interventions and enabling mechanisms that will bring PwDs into the mainstream, especially the e-commerce sector.
Flipkart will provide easy access to learning opportunities for PWDs to acquire relevant skills through the National Skill Qualification Committee and skills for supply chain operations through Flipkart’s Supply Chain Operations Academy.
With this move, Flipkart is committing to build an inclusive supply chain.
In July last year, Flipkart established the first-ever PwD-run delivery hub in New Delhi, managed end-to-end by PwDs, working in various roles, including delivery executives, cashiers, and team leaders. Flipkart today employs close to 1,500 people with disabilities across its supply chain.
Through its initiative Ekartians with Disabilities (EDAB), which started in 2017, Flipkart has already created job opportunities for thousands of PwDs for varied roles across its supply chain.
Today, the e-commerce player has a workforce of over two lakh, with a structured diversity programme that includes employing women and People with Disabilities (PwDs).
Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar, said, “Divyangjan or Persons with Disabilities need support and not sympathy. This MoU between DEPwD, SCPwD and Flipkart will open up opportunities for them and play a major role in equipping them with the right skill sets to enhance their employability.”
Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart, is “proud of the fact that we have men, women and people with disabilities working together in our supply chain, helping break the stigma around their participation in the mainstream workforce and we are committed to increasing their participation”.
Employees trained in workflows, including sensitisation sessions, special classroom training and on-job training with the help of sign language interpreters. Employees in consumer-facing roles, such as wishmasters (delivery executives), are provided with customer-interaction cards to help any hearing-impaired employees communicate with ease.? The delivery executives have SOS-enabled smartphones and special badges and flashcards to communicate with customers. For security, the PwDs working in the warehouse floor are identified by their differently coloured jacket. Flipkart also provides sign language training to its existing employees to make the PwDs feel comfortable.