Introduction


Imagine a world where disabled and non-disabled people have equal life opportunities; access to mainstream education, employment and career development opportunities, a world where disabled people are able to freely access buildings, transport and other services.  This is what we aim for.

India has a rich cultural and religious heritage.  It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and with a population of over one billion, is the largest democracy in the world (World Bank, 2010).  India is growing in many aspects, fast becoming a global player with great potential to develop and influence other countries.

There are many changes taking place in relation to Disability Equality in India and around the world; anti-discriminative legislations, ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled people (UNCRPD), CSR initiatives, Disability Equality Practices and many more.

However, whilst India is making rapid progress in addressing disability equality, over 50% of disabled people remain illiterate compared to 35% of the general population (Government of India, 2001).  The deep inequalities experienced by disabled people are further exacerbated when combined with existing axes of social difference, such as gender and social status.  This shows the greater need for change in attitudes towards, and awareness of disability equality and accessibility.  We believe it is you who can initiate this change which will last a lifetime and beyond, that will see our children, grandchildren and generations to come grow up in a country that respects equality and provides opportunities for all.

Choice Internationl (UK) and NGI are bringing together national and international resources to provide an environment for innovation and creativity, through which we aim to initiate change in Disability Equality and Accessibility in India.  This jointly organised conference aims to recognise the achievements in Disability Equality in India, whilst analysing the challenges we now face.

As the Father of our great nation Mahatma Gandhi Jee once said,

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

So join us at ‘Freedom of choice’- an International Conference on Disability Equality and Accessibility in India, and make a lasting difference!

NGI creates a platform for forward-thinking Indians and friends, connecting them for the betterment of their lives. The aim of this publication and its events are to explore, express, learn, share, and network across the globe, promoting India, Indians and friends globally via debate, discussion and knowledge sharing.

Choice International is a UK based, non-profit, international development organisation promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the UK and overseas focussing specifically on promoting leadership development of disabled people.  The current focus on India is via the LEAD-India programme.

This conference aims to:

  • Explore Disability Equality within Indian businesses and services to gain an understanding of disability equality relating to accessibility, perception of disability and disability legislation in India.
  • Explore the importance of barrier-free design and infrastructure.
  • Equip participants to become ambassadors and promoters of Disability Equality
  • Create an opportunity for participants to meet and network, share skills, knowledge and experience in Disability Equality and promote the concept of a barrier-free environment in their respective fields.

Help to incorporate effective Disability Equality practices and barrier free design in all infrastructures developed within corporate, public and voluntary sectors.

Speakers

  • rajendra

    CEO Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled (Bangalore) Experienced Corporate Social Responsibility Professional; driven by integrity and strong ethical principles with 3 decades of experience in the spearheading Corporate Social Responsibility operations encompassing Strategy Planning, Stakeholder Engagement, Revenue Expansion, Project & Program Management, & other managerial functions. Highly successful in developing insightful recommendations on strategic direction, [...]

  • shampa

    Shampa Sengupta is an activist working on disability and gender issues for last 25 years. She is the Founder-Director of Sruti Disability Rights Centre, a non-funded advocacy group that works on disability and gender rights. She started her work-life by organising Kolkata’s first ever parents group of intellectually disabled children. She later worked with Crisis [...]

  • krithika

    Researcher Disability Research and Design Foundation (DRDF), Mumbai Krithika is an Alumnus in Social Work with specialisation in Disability Studies and Action from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Presently, she is working as a Researcher at DRDF, a Mumbai-based organisation which works towards inclusion of persons with disability by focussing on the application [...]

  • reshma

    Co-founder of Mind Arcs and a member of several other national and international groups for persons with mental illness, Reshma entered the field of mental health advocacy during her own battle with schizophrenia. Being the protagonist of a documentary that received several national awards based on her own recovery without medications called ‘A Drop of [...]

  • niranjan1

    GM Environment Initiatives, ITC Hotels Mr Khatri is the General Manager (GM) for Environment Initiatives at ITC hotels India. He has a background in hotel management with extensive experience in GM positions within various ITC hotels all in which he pioneered the concept of eco designing. Mr Khatri has submitted papers to ILO /CORNELL UNIVERSITY on eco-designing in 1994. [...]

  • prathi

    Paralympic Swimmer Gold Medalist in the 1st State Level Paralympic Swimming Championship – India 2013 An MBA graduate in Banking and Finance she has worked in the field for several years as well as taking forward her passion for sport. Madhavi has won the Bronze medal in the Corporate Sports Olympiad 2011 in 100 meters [...]

  • ritika

    RITIKA SAHNI is a professional singer, performer, composer, producer of children albums and an Ability Activist. Has been working with Disability related issues for last the 20 years and founded Trinayani, a cross disability advocacy NGO in 2006, with the sole desire to inform, communicate and create awareness, tolerance and respect about the world of [...]

  • mahantesh

    MAHANTESH GHATIVALAPPA KIVADASANNAVAR Founder Managing Trustee Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled Personal Details: Address: Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled CA: 39, 15th Cross, 16th Main, Sector – 4, HSR Layout, Bangalore – 560102 Phone:+91-80-26582570, Birth place: Neginhal, Bailhongal (Taluk), Belgaum (District) Age:42 years Nature of Disability: Visually Impaired Key achievements Completed MA & M.Phil in [...]

  • harpreet1

    Mrs Harpreet A De Singh is head of Corporate Quality, Safety and Environment Management Systems at Air India Ltd. She is the first head of Corporate Quality Management Systems, first Head of Corporate SMS and Convener of Risk Management, the first Woman to Head the Emergency Response, the first Woman Ground Instructor for Pilots, besides [...]

  • sivasubbu

    Sundari Sivasuubu is the Communications and Program Officer at HCLT Foundation, the CSR Wing of HCL Technologies. She has Cerebral Palsy (Ataxia) from birth and uses a joy-stick operated wheelchair for mobility. “I’ve always been fascinated by the art of communication – the written, the spoken, and the unspoken – and its power to bring [...]

  • sidharth

    Manager- Trade Operations IndusInd Bank Ltd Siddharth is currently working as Manager (Got promoted this year) with IndusInd Bank Ltd in the Trade Operations Department at Chennai. He has been with IndusInd Bank since 2010 and prior to that he was with RBS (previously ABN Amro) in the Trade Finance Division for more than 5 [...]

  • ruchir

    Brand executive for Tanishq in Titan Industries Ruchir is one of the developers for the NVDA project, which makes computers accessible to blind people. Ruchir has a day job where he manages online campaigns and brand for Tanishq. Ruchir prides himself in having had a completely normal childhood and upbringing. “I was never put into any [...]

  • rakesh

    Rakesh Paladugula is currently working as an Accessibility Consultant for Cognizant Technology Solutions, Hyderabad.. Beyond his role as accessibility consultant,Rakesh is an active volunteer for organizations such as Enable India and Retina India who support the PwD and an active participant for the NASSCOM foundation.Rakesh has been a panel member for various discussions on accessibility and inclusion across India [...]

  • ahluwalia

    C. Eng(UK).C. Eng (I),FIETE,FIE,MIERE(UK),MBIM(UK) MIMA, MCSI, MIIPE, F Inst D.PGDQM Lt Gen J. S. Ahluwalia, PVSM (retd) is President of the ‘Institute of Directors’ and of the ‘World Environment Foundation’ (WEF). A Post Graduate in Electronics Engineering and MBA, he had specialized in engineering support to weapon systems of the Army. He has undergone extensive [...]

  • dilip2bg

    Mr. Dilip Patro, MCA & M. Com, software specialist by profession. A road accident in 1997 resulted in a serious spinal injury left him a quadriplegic – he is paralysed waist below. He is still working in his field and passionate about providing other spinal cord injured with the training and resources, he has received [...]

  • Sebi

    SebiChacko is one of the leading professionals in the space of Diversity and Inclusion and change management in Asia. He leads and  represents the leading industry bodies in India ( Confederation of Indian Industry and NASSCOM) in its efforts at Diversity. He is the Convenor of the Disability Forum and Co Convenor of the Diversity [...]

  • meenu

    Dr. Meenu Bhambhani is the Associate Vice-President and Head – Global Corporate Social Responsibility at MphasiS, Bangalore. Her background in development/disability sector is multifaceted:  she is a person with disability herself, a professional in the area of disability and human development with fifteen years of experience, specialised in disability studies and social policy, a researcher [...]

  • mm

    Manoj has both academic and professional experience in equality and international development. He has a Masters degree in Human Resource Management and is a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). He is also a member of the Institute of Equality and Diversity practitioners (IEDP) and of ‘Breaking Through– Towards Strategies for [...]

  • jasp

    Director of Choice International and CEO of UKDPC (United Kingdom Disabled People Council UK) Jaspal Dhani is an established equality and diversity trainer in the UK and has delivered on inclusion and empowerment courses in India. He has worked in the disability field for 15 years, both at grass-roots level and senior management level in [...]

  • ujvalk

    Prof.Ujjwal K. Chowdhury, a front-ranking media educator of India, was earlier the Dean of Symbiosis International University for seven years, and now the Dean of Whistling Woods International School of Media & Communication, in Mumbai, chaired by the leading Bollywood film-maker and producer Subhash Ghai. Prof Chowdhury is also the Consulting Director of ACORE Group, [...]

  • mal

    Malini Chib holds two masters degress, one in women’s studies and the second one in information Management. She is the Co-chairperson of Adapt Rights group which fights for the Rights of people with disabilities. Malini is the senior Events Manager of Oxford Bookshop in Mumbai. Her book One Little Finger has recently published by Sage

  • ra

    General Secretary of Ektha, a disability movement having evolved a century ago which has successfully reached the human rights model; it was shocking to know that people with neurological impairment are marginalized even within the disability sector. Ektha was initiated keeping this in mind, the fact that there was no group for people with neurological [...]

  • llllllaa

    NileshSingit He has a Masters degree in English from University of Bombay, and has completed a PG course in Human Rights and is a Novell Certified Internet Professional [NCIP] He has worked for over 12 years in the field of disability with a special focus on access audits, accessibility and inclusive design, disability diversity/equality/rights training [...]