Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Hidden Gems of Hyderabad

Old Hyderabad.
Felicia (l) and Dipabali (r) in Hyderabad.
By Dipabali, ILR'14, and Felicia, ILR'14, share their GSL service project in Hyderabad.

Both of us are working with a government agency, called SERP (Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty), that empowers the rural poor through social mobilization and improvement of livelihoods in the state of Andhra Pradesh. SERP’s initiatives include education, health care, and finance, focusing on disadvantaged communities. Our concentration is on the disability population affecting nearly 70 million people in India. The socio economic gap for people with disabilities is vastly due to their unemployment rate of over 85%.  For the small percentage of employed people with disabilities, the working conditions are not optimal for them.

Currently in India, there is no formalized process that allows people with disabilities to receive accommodations in the workplace. Most accommodations are implemented through ad hoc methods. Our task is to develop a handbook that will guide HR managers and employees with disabilities through the filing for accommodations process. This handbook will be modeled after the U.S HR policies but customized to fit the Indian system. Affiliated with the World Bank, SERP is the leading model for disability programs and policies in India. The implementation for this filing process can impact the rest of the country on accommodating people with disabilities in the public sector.

Our second project is with CPDL (Center for People with Disabilities Livelihood), a non-profit organization that is partnered with SERP and the Wadhwani Foundation. CPDL works with students with disabilities from rural villages and trains them to obtain jobs in various industries such as retail and IT. Our task is to design sensitivity modules that will educate both public and private sector employers how to positively promote good practices for people with disabilities. Both of us are extremely grateful for the support and opportunity given to us from EDI. Our ILR training has also provided us with the skill sets and resources necessary to thrive in our projects.  
Arun Karpur and Susanne Bruyere of EDI visit students in India.
Charminar
Worker in the Diamond Factory Crafting Jewelry.
Hyderabad is the Capital of Bangles! 

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