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Global inclusion campaign The Valuable 500 aims to place disability on the agenda of Indian business leadership

On 29 November, some of India's biggest corporate heads and disability rights leaders will gather in New Delhi for an event organised by the EnAble India in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the India Business and Disability Network (IBDN) and Brookfield Properties. This is part of The Valuable 500, founded by Caroline Casey that aims to bring together 500 CEOs to commit to make disability inclusion included in the boardroom agenda around the world.

Top Indian companies like the Tata Steel, Mahindra, ANZ are among the 17 corporates that have signed up for The Valuable 500, a disability inclusion campaign that aims to encourage business leaders around the world to recognise the potential of the world's 1.3 million disabled population.

"We welcome the 17 companies from India and South East Asia to The Valuable 500, and applaud them for showing true leadership on this issue, on a global level", said Caroline Casey, Founder, The Valuable 500 in a press release.

The 17 Indian companies to sign up are Central Group, Mahindra, Tata Steel, ANZ Bank, Lalit Hospitality Group, Allegis group, Laguna Clothing, Vindhya E-Infomedia, Linde Group, Dr. Reddy's, Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters), Mphasia, DTSS, IBM, Sansera, Wipro, and Brookfield. The announcement comes ahead of Casey's appearance at an event organised in New Delhi on 29 November by EnAble India in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India Business and Disability Network (IBDN) and Brookfield Properties.

Founded by Casey, The Valuable 500 launched at the World Economic Forum this year aims to bring together 500 CEOs to commit to get disability inclusion included in the boardroom agenda around the world. Global business like Accenture, Manpower Group UK, Aston Martin, Microsoft, Bank of England and Virgin Media have committed to the campaign..

The India event called Drive Value Through Disability Inclusion brings together companies and key stakeholders committed to disability inclusion and has the potential to be a game-changer, believes EnAble India's Shanti Raghavan. This is an organisation that has been doing pioneering work in opening companies towards inclusion from a business sense perspective.

We have been working on coaching and mentoring business leaders, building their 'include-ability', a word we have coined, which is much beyond sensitization. But after all this, sustainability is something we need to look at, and the most powerful lever for anything to happen has to be from the leadership because without that things won't move. Many things have happened because of leadership. So, putting it on the board agenda means that the board is seeing this and will ensure it happens every year, and the focus on inclusion remains even when there's a CEO transition. - Shanti Raghavan, Co -founder, EnAble India

Raghavan says that board members will play a key role going forward being influencers. "They will influence other boards, and this will lead to a 360-degree view which will cause impact, inclusion, influencing, greater opportunities for people with disabilities, inclusive procurement as well as being inclusive of customers with disability and inclusion at the community level".

Shakuntala Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Person with Disabilities (DEPwD), Government of India will be present at the event and so will disability rights leaders. The three-hour event will see an exchange of experiences and solutions to understand how careers are possible and the ways in which limits can be overcome.

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