The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot has said that the Government is committed to the holistic empowerment of persons with disabilities through education, rehabilitation and especially skill development and employment.
Shri Gehlot said that the National Action Plan is a partnership between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability for skilling 2.5 million Person with Disability (PwD) over seven years
He was speaking on the occasion of launching of the National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities at a Conference held here today. The Plan was jointly launched with the Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy. The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar was also present on the occasion. A large gathering of corporates, PSU officials, experts, NGOs, civil society organizations and stakeholders are participating in the one-day Conference.
On this occasion, Shri Gehlot also announced that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has taken the initiative to conduct the 1st Indian Open Paralympics Games 2015 in New Delhi from May 2 to 9, 2015 for promoting the talents of the differently abled community in sports”.
The Minister of State (IC) for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy stated that the Skill Development is of the highest priority of Prime Minister of India as only around 2% of the workforce in India is skilled. Under the overall guidance of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Skill Development has decided to constitute a separate “Sector Skill Council” for PWDs to scale up the initiative with Quality Standards as acceptable by industry. He also announced that the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has decided to contribute 100 crore to this initiative and support MSJE at every step. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) will be the implementing agency for the National Action Plan.
Lauding the initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice, Shri Rudy said that it is a noble endeavour by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and it our honour to be a part of this National Action Plan.
The Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar stated that the Central Government would need proactive cooperation from State Governments to implement legislation in letter and spirit, to enable persons with disabilities to get employment, access markets for their products and learn cutting-edge skills.
According to census 2011, there are 2.68 Crore Persons with Disability (PwDs) in India. About 1.34 crores persons with disabilities are in the employable age of 15 to 59 years.
The National Action Plan (NAP) seeks to provide a synergistic framework for people with disability, for improving vocational training and employment opportunities for them with the eventual goal of providing them with livelihoods and independence. The plan envisages use of Information Technology for content, training delivery and employer connect. The goals of empowering and capacitating PwDs will have substantial gains for the broader economy.
An MOU for implementation of the National Action Plan was signed by the two secretaries – Mr. Lov Verma, Secretary of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Mr. Sunil Arora, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
The launch was followed by experience-sharing sessions, interactions on successful paradigms of skill training, on pedagogy, outreach to rural areas, on-line training platforms and possible funding models.
During the meeting, stakeholders and experts discussed ways in which private sector involvement in skill training of PwDs could be enhanced and capacity building initiatives offered by various ministries/departments to the PwDs that could be standardized and synergized to meet skill-development, training and employability targets.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will collaborate with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to work out innovative initiatives for people with disability.
The national conference will be followed by regional level workshops with NGOs, private and public sector undertakings and training partners to effectively implement the National Action Plan.