The Indian IT and ITES companies got together this year at the NASSCOM Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2015, to showcase the best form of delivering human resource potential. The focus was Empowering Organization, Individuals and Customers.
This year many industries came together to talk about creating a dynamic diverse workplace and to demonstrate the good work done by each individual company to set their inclusive agenda.
NASSCOM has played a key role in the mind shift and organization shift in this context from 2006 onwards, be it influencing the industry to take D&I as their mainstream agenda and encourage corporate leaders to talk about inclusive strategies and programs that has proven effective in a diverse workplace: where each individual is respected for their views and contributions to the company. Importantly over the few years it has also set standards for actively pursuing inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream jobs as well as encouraging the overall inclusive work culture.
But what happens when everyone misses out the core basic needs in addressing inclusion for persons with disability?
This year the Nasscom D&I summit, took place at Lalit Ashok a premium luxury five-star hotel in Bangalore; offcourse every Bangalorean do know Lalit Ashok!
Few months back i was there, as a speaker at Grace Hopper’s conference and I did give a written complaint to the hotel staff about inaccessible restrooms in the hotels. Nothing has been done to address this issue till date, the current restrooms in the hotel has a narrow zigzag entrance to which a wheelchair cannot accommodate and only has two small compartments inside again which doesn’t fit a wheelchair. I was told by one of the staff that the accessible restroom was renovated into a showroom last year (duh really!!!)
This time once again me and Nimisha Jashnani from Capgemini who handles the diversity and inclusion for her company got very ferocious about the whole situation went to check with the officials who could address this issue. Very saddened to as we couldn’t get in touch with anyone senior who could really look into this and one of the staff took us to the background of the hotel where there was trying to build and wheelchair accessible restroom, this got me even more angry because the way to go to the restroom was away from the main hotel first thing and secondly we had to go on a lawn/ cobblestones/500meter away to reach that area. What nonsense!!!#####
So how come NASSCOM or how could a five-star hotel not address this basic issue for wheelchair accessible toilet? How come Nasscom committee miss accessibilty and sign language interpreter during sessions of a inclusive forum?
This is something that needs intervention to set right accessibiliy standards across any such forum conducted by Industry Bodies.
It is time as Modi says, we look into the basic needs of a common man’than talking about big agendas.