Suresh Tonne, 26, an employee with Wipro Technologies, Bangalore, has a disability in his right leg. He found his job in a campus recruitment in a bleak employment scenario for this section of the population.
It is this inequality that Aruna Rangachar Pohl, national director of the Bangalore-based Cheshire Disability Trust, a member of the Leonard Cheshire Disability Global Alliance, is trying to address with www.jobability.org, a job portal specifically for the disabled.
"It will be easier to find job openings by just sitting in front of a computer," said Tonne.
India has between 60 million and 96 million (5-8%) of its total 1.2 billion population as disabled, of which between 264,000 and 422,400 (0.44%) are employed.
Despite the PwD Act provisioning 3% reservation in government and public sector units, a 1999 survey showed that less than one tenth of this target has been met by the top 100 companies.
"In MNCs, the figure is even lower, just 0.05%," said Muralidharan, assistant convenor, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled.
Some corporates, however, have started to focus on "diversity inclusion," said Pohl. Around 10 employers have registered with the portal and 250 candidates have uploaded their resumes.
In Delhi, for a workshop with potential collaborators such as the International Labour Organisation, NGOs, social justice ministry officials of the government of India, Pohl said she was hopeful of a scale-up so that that the portal "would be a knowledge repository online and a job exchange."
"All candidates who register with us get three interviews from prospective employers," said Pohl. "The employers are also sensitised by us."
Monica Jain, a Gurgaon-based HR manager said there was a "strong business case" for corporates for diversity inclusion. "Attrition levels are less, they are more sincere in their work…A job portal provides a platform and a ready database of qualified individuals from the community," she said.