On the 28th of April 2020, the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organised a webinar on ‘COVID-19: Road Ahead for PWDs’. The webinar hosted some prominent key speakers such as Dr. Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice Empowerment, Mr Keshav Suri, Co-Chair, FICCI Task Force on D&I and Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group & Founder, The Keshav Suri Foundation, Mr Nipun Malhotra, Chair, FICCI D&I Working Group on EPWD and Founder and CEO, Nipman Foundation, Ms. Aradhana Lal, Vice President – Brand, Communications & Sustainability Initiatives, Lemon Tree Hotels Limited, Ms. Karishma Chhabra, Senior Manager, Business Operations and Accessibility, Microsoft India as well as Ms. Nidhi Goyal, Founder and Executive Director, Rising Flame and Member, FICCI Task Force on D&I.
The webinar aimed at raising awareness about the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities and other important areas such as the inclusion of persons with disabilities at workplaces, post-COVID rehabilitation, access to inclusive infrastructure, assistive technologies, counselling services, skill-building, etc. The webinar primarily focused on the need for addressing the disproportionate impact of the novel coronavirus on persons with disabilities and how to engage with government officials, business leaders and other experts to deliberate upon these and other related issues and the way forward.
Nidhi Goyal spoke about the lack of accessible information around the COVID-19 crisis, gaps in initiatives and accountability mechanisms on the part of the state especially when it comes to persons with disabilities, inconsistencies in the distribution of pensions and Jan Dhan money and increased violence and discrimination against women with disabilities and the lack of sensitivity or disability awareness in helpline operators.
The full webinar can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZkQSfUt7Io