“Pankh training has helped me a lot. It has helped me find my identity and confidence to believe in myself.” – Mahadev, one of our many students.
The retail sector is one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy. While it is growing at an impressive rate, it is also facing challenges related to inadequate manpower and higher attrition rates. Thus, in order to tackle these adversities, there is an acute need to develop a sense of diversity and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the workplace.
Like everyone else, persons with disabilities have the right to dream, and right to equal opportunity. They also have their own strengths, hopes & needs. As per the census of 2011, there are around 26.8 million persons with disabilities in India and what’s truly saddening is that their employability is less than 1%. Given a fair chance and appropriate opportunities, PwDs too can contribute to the society, thereby leading the life of a dignified citizen.
Matching this need to a viable solution is Pankh. Pankh – Wings of Destiny is an initiative was launched by TRRAIN (conceptualized in 2011 in partnership with Youth 4 Jobs Foundation (Y4J)) with an aim to train PwDs by providing them with employment opportunities in the retail industry and helping them live a life of dignity.
Through this program, by 2020, we seek to build sustainable livelihoods for PwDs by promoting inclusiveness in the retail industry. We aspire to train and facilitate placement opportunities for 10,000 PwDs every year. Our aim is to make inclusion a priority in the industry and change the way individuals think and act towards people with disabilities. This is because fostering inclusiveness in the retail industry is not just morally imperative, but also necessary for the growth of the economy.
We strongly believe that providing employment to people with disabilities adds diversity to the workplace, imparts a strong brand image to the business, and has a positive impact on society. Furthermore, an inclusive workplace paves the way for creativity, innovation, and productivity.
We tie up with local NGOs that work with Persons with Disabilities and announce training and employment opportunities through them. Through this collaborative model Pankh (and thus, TRRAIN) has successfully established a pan-India presence.
This training program aims to arm a PwD with the complete spectrum of retail specific skills. Our primary focus here is to develop three key skills, i.e.
- Life skills,
- English language skills and
- Retail specific skills such as retail math, cashiering, computers, customer handling and work readiness
Support to Employers
- On the completion of the training program, retail organisations are invited to evaluate the Pankh graduates for placements
- Post placements, our team provides support to retailers in order to help them match roles with a person’s disabilities
- We also conduct ‘Sensitisation Workshops’ for the existing retail staff in the company. This is done in order to promote a work environment that is non-biased and one that promotes growth
- Further on, our counsellors continue to be in touch with the retailer as well as the Pankh graduates in order to ensure all is well