Karnataka government-EnAble India in partnership to build cadre of Inclusive Officers
To build a cadre of bureaucrats who are sensitive to the issues faced by people with disabilities can be a challenge in a country as diverse as India. In a welcome step, the government of Karnataka is working actively in this regard in collaboration with the well-known NGO EnAble India.
Come March, the Karnataka government is launching a five-year programme that aims to build a cadre of bureaucrats who are sensitised to disability issues. This will include officers of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) as well as the Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS). The programme will be conducted in partnership with EnAble India.
The EnAble Inclusion team leading the initiative will work closely with the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Government of Karnataka. The ATI is the apex training institute of the state government and caters mainly to the needs of Grades A and B officers. There are 30 District Training Institutes (DTIs) which conduct training programmes for Groups C and D employees.
Enable Inclusion works for the inclusion of disabled people in public sector enterprises like banking as well as other departments in the Karnataka government. While conducting inclusion programmes for various departments we found that employees recruited under the disabled quota were not fulfilling their potential. They were not going above their work station. So we decided to work with the ATI as this is the parent body that conducts inclusion trainings for all government departments. – Murali Kumar, Programme Director, EnAble Inclusion
5-year partnership to start with
The partnership is for five years with an understanding that if the programmes are not completed, the training will be extended for a further five-year period. “This will be done across Karnataka for cadres A to D recruited under the 5% PwD reservation quota”, adds Murali.
Shanti Raghavan, Co-founder, EnAble India, hopes the sensitisation will help bridge the awareness gaps. “Bureaucrats are extremely smart and if given the right knowledge, they can do a lot. With disability, attitude gaps comes into play. Unless we have seen a person with severe disability at work, we think it can’t happen. This gap can create many challenges and may come in the way of a policy that can make a change”.
Making Inclusive Officers the norm
Be it P Narahari in Madhya Pradesh or Nidhi Srivastava in New Delhi, there have been visible and honest attempts made by many bureaucrats towards inclusion. “How to scale this and make it sustainable is the question”, points out Shanti, who hopes to see this spread like wildfire. “We want a system where we capture the good happening in one and make it 20,000”.
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