Amazon India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DePwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to provide skilling and employment opportunities through job fairs to tens of thousands of PwDs across the country. The tripartite agreement between DePwD, Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD) and Amazon focuses on skilling, certification, entrepreneurship and is designed to enable PwD participation in mainstream society. This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision.
“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,” said Dr Virendra Kumar, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“The social and financial empowerment of PwDs is extremely important in realizing prime minister’s vision for a self-reliant nation. I welcome Amazon India’s initiative towards building a more inclusive workforce,” Dr Kumar added.
Amazon aims to provide PwDs the needed support, training, and intervention by creating an environment of acceptance and inclusion and a sensitized skilling experience. Amazon will support interventions by the ministry in their resource centres nationally.
MoU with Sarthak Educational Trust
Amazon has also signed a MoU with Thiruvananthapuram-based non-profit Sarthak Educational Trust (SET) under which it will provide a special grant of Rs 2.5 crore for reducing the skill gap in employable young PwDs through a Global Resource Center (GRC). The grant will also be used to create a centre of excellence for employment and vocational training within GRC to support Sarthak’s efforts to mainstream disability.
Job portal enrollment
The MoU with Sarthak will aim to enroll tens of thousands of people via an exclusive job portal app. Besides supporting the operational costs for the job portal, Amazon will also be the knowledge partner to develop online and offline training modules for e-commerce skilling.
At Amazon India, we foster a culture that is conducive to growth and offers people equal opportunities to unlock their full potential.
"At Amazon India, we foster a culture that is conducive to growth and offers people equal opportunities to unlock their full potential. PwDs in India face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment,” said Akhil Saxena, Vice President, Customer Fulfilment - APAC, MENA, LATAM and WW Customer Service, Amazon.
“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," said Saxena.
Amazon’s commitment to diversity
In addition to this focus on skilling PwDs, Amazon runs various programs for diverse underrepresented cohorts encompassing not just PwDs but also women, military veterans and people from the LGBTQIA+ community. The company has pioneered ‘Silent Delivery Station’ through the Delivery Service Partner program in Mumbai in January 2017, where the station is run by individuals with speech and hearing impairment. Additionally, Amazon has initiatives designed to create opportunities for persons with hearing impairment at its operations sites. Further, Amazon has actively employed PwDs in corporate roles including junior and mid management roles.