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Get set for #Sabkeliye, India's biggest & boldest accessible shopping initiative ever

Be it dedicated priority counters, Quiet Hours for shoppers with autism, or a body wash in Braille packaging, Future Retail Limited has shown a strong and steady commitment towards making shopping accessible to India's disabled community.

Now, in its boldest and biggest initiative, India's leading retailer has announced a Preview Day Sale on 21 January across all 357 Big Bazaar stores in India, exclusively for people with disabilities.

In a statement, Vineet Saraiwala, Deputy Manager, Future Group said, "Everyone wants offers and discounts and shoppers with disabilities are no different. Big Bazaar has its annual sale on 26 January and we observed that disabled shoppers lose out on discounts because of the excessive crowds."

From a Sign Language Invite to a special radio jingle to free shopping assistance, priority counter, home delivery service, every attempt has been made to ensure that shopping experience is as hassle free as possible. Big Bazaar is also offering a Rs 100 discount on a shopping of Rs 1,000. Shoppers can even pre-book facilities.

It is very heartening when a chain like Big Bazaar decides to not just make all their new stores accessible, but also their existing ones", says design architect Parul Kumtha, who has worked on the physical infrastructure as an accessibility consultant. "This can be challenging, especially when retrofitting toilet areas and other areas that have plumbing, sanitation and electrical facilities already in place. But it is not impossible."

Careful planning

Certainly possible if there is commitment, something that the group has shown towards making this and other accessible shopping initiatives a success.

We worked very closely with the leadership at Big Bazaar right from the days of the conception of the program. We worked with the team in reaching out to the stores in smaller location and assisted with the sensitization training of 1,500 of their store managers in disability etiquette training. - P Rajashekharan Raja, Co-founder, v-shesh Impact Enterprise

Another organization that has worked closely with Big Bazaar in this imitative is National Association for the Blind (NAB) in New Delhi.

As Prashant Ranjan Verma, General Secretary, NAB, , points out, such a mainstream initiative is unique not just in India but globally, and is not only the just thing to do, but makes perfect business sense as well.

"This has never been done in India and there are very few examples even in the world where retail chains and shopping malls have made shopping fully accessible. This makes business sense as well because and we hope that competitors will follow. Not just the visually impaired community, but the entire disabled community is happy with this."

Shopping is a basic need for everyone and by making this accessible and inclusive, Big Bazaar is ensuring that the disabled community is able to access a fundamental right. In doing so, it is enabling the community to enter public spaces on equal, independent terms, a major step towards building attitude change.

To register for the Preview Sale, click here - http://bit.ly/BBPreviewDaySale

View the sign language invite - https://youtu.be/Vr_yBXWf9xI

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