Big Bazaar initiative Able Hands brings together disabled and non-disabled people
This Saturday on 7 December Big Bazaar has something new planned as part of its #SabkeLiye accessible shopping experience. Called Able Hands, this is a first of its kind initiative where disabled people get to interact with non-disabled people. This initiative is being rolled in 292 ramp-enabled stores.
Supporting and encouraging a culture of inclusion is in Big Bazaar’s DNA. The retail company is introducing interesting and unique ways to engage with the disabled community. Able Hands, its most recent initiative, is step in this direction.
On 7 December, between 12 to 5 PM, disabled shoppers can walk into any ramp enabled Big Bazaar store and shop with a volunteer who will accompany them while they are shopping. If you are a disabled person and would like a shopping volunteer, you can register on this link in advance.
First of its kind in India
Able Hands is a unique concept, never before attempted in India. Exposure to a person with disability is known to help build awareness. But few people, barring those with a disabled family member or working in the space, have a chance to interact with a disabled person. An experience like Able Hands gives disabled people a chance to sensitise and create greater awareness. The initiative is being rolled out in 292 stores that are ramp enabled.
Lack of exposure creates the greatest divide in society and Able Hands wants to foster awareness by boosting interactions between disabled and non-disabled shoppers – Vineet Saraiwala, Inclusion Lead, Big Bazaar
Partnering Big Bazaar in the initiative is GuideStar India (GSI), India’s largest and most reliable NGO information repository, which is strengthening the infrastructure for India’s philanthropy ecosystem. In 2017, GSI became the global leader of the #GivingTuesday generosity movement in India.
“We are reaching out to our network of over 9,000 NGOs, including 1,200 of our verified NGO partners across India, working specifically for the disabled, to provide them a convenient shopping experience”, says Pushpa Aman Singh, Founder-CEO, GuideStar India and Global Leader, GivingTuesdayIndia. “The idea of getting people to register as volunteers and shop together, is an interesting way of sensitising people to the needs of the disabled. We are sharing this opportunity with our corporate partners for encouraging their employees to use this as an opportunity to celebrate the International Volunteer Day with the theme of inclusion”.
Mumbai resident Rupa Chandel is looking forward to the experience. “I was a little hesitant at first as have never interacted with a disabled person before. I changed my mind when I heard the Big Bazaar staff would guide us”. Much credit for the success of Big Bazaar’s #Sabke Liye initiative goes to its staff. They have undergone extensive sensitisation trainings.
Mumbai lawyer Amar Jain, who is visually impaired, calls this an out-of-the-box approach. “Most people don’t get the chance to speak to or engage with a person with disability. Able Hands is a step in the right direction”.
Click this link if you are a disabled shopper. You need to mention your name, mobile number, email ID, city of residence and the time slot you would like to go. It is preferable that disabled shoppers register in advance.