Citizens' Issues
Why business needs to focus on disabled, pregnant women and senior citizens
“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing and inclusion”  - Max de pree
 
The disable friendliness of India can be gauged in terms of ease of physical movement, economic opportunities and social inclusiveness for the differently abled. Let me also add few more segments like old persons, pregnant women and temporarily disabled and we have a huge population that faces several issues in terms of physical movement. The main reason for this is lack of disabled friendly infrastructure, like public transport, buildings and crowded nature of cities. However, when we look at the sheer number of people who are denied such facilities it would turn out to be a big asset for every establishment, including corporates. In short, it makes a perfect business sense for establishments to make their infrastructure disabled friendly.
 
From philosophy to economics to business, the mantra for sustainable success is ‘Inclusion”. Let me share some positive best practices in India. 
 
VFS Global for visa and passport application processing services. Indian School of Business (ISB) and Capgemini, a consulting, technology and outsourcing company follow such practices. 
 
The common thread of best practice is that all the three institutions right from conceptualization of their infrastructure they thought, designed and executed an ‘inclusive’, ‘barrier free’ and ‘accessible environment’ for people with disabilities. They are indeed conscientious institutions. A rare breed indeed. Salute!
 
The most significant fact discovered from them is that creating any NEW Infrastructure to be inclusive Does Not Cost more. Nah, not a paisa more! It does not compromise their revenues or profitability. But it can become a means to increase their turnover.
 
In order to present my case for creating more disabled friendly, inclusive infrastructure in future I have coined an acronym- DOPT, which stands for… 
 
D- People with Disabilities (Visual, hearing, Ortho, Spinal Cord Injury, mental retardation)
O- Old (senior Citizens) 60-80 years
P- Pregnant Women
T- Temporarily Disabled (caused due to diseases or accidents)
 
Infrastructure companies cannot ignore the fact that this DOPT Community is a huge consumer segment. Most customers look for ready to occupy spaces, which require minimum modifications and retrofitting including members of DOPT community.
 
1. Features of DOPT Community
 
 
2. Disposable Income and Spending Power of this Community. Worldwide the disability Market alone is 100 crore people and $1 trillion in annual disposable income. Senior citizens control about 70% of the disposable income in the US. Pregnant women and temporarily disabled also need specific clothing, diet, assistive technology and several other items. Cumulatively DOPT is a huge market segment.
3. Indian Accessibility market is valued at Rs4,200 crore (Ref: Shilpi Kapoor, Barrier Break, News Hook developer)
 
The time has come to realise and acknowledge the power of the DOPT community. Their infrastructure needs are similar in terms of an accessible environment. Let’s aim for inclusive action and a win-win situation. The infrastructure community needs to follow the UNCRPD and Indian bye laws to create international class inclusive properties, which does not cost extra. Thus enabling the DOPT Community to perform to their highest potential and collaboratively take our country forward. Let’s change our approach and the way we ‘see’ this new and emerging market. I believe it makes good business sense. 
 

(Dr Ketna L Mehta is an educationist, editor, author and Founder Trustee of Nina Foundation that serves the rehabilitation of economically and socially disadvantaged friends with spinal injuries. She is also Editor and Associate Dean Research, WeSchool.  Email- ninafoundation@gmail.com , www.ninafoundation.org)

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COMMENTS

Param

6 months ago

based on recent visit to VFS office in kolkata, it hardly seems DOPT friendly. if you came in a wheelchair, you would not find a place in the office to stop without blocking the passage. the place was so overcrowded & staff is yelling people to take a seat when no seats are available. putting a disabled sticker on one counter cannot be benchmark for DOPT friendliness. i have more respect for the CISF security guard who allowed some aged & crutch using people to skip the zig zag queue & walk straight thru for security.

Balasubramanian Brahmadesam Canthadai

7 months ago

Why dont you add a line as to where donations can be sent any tax benefits for such donations

Balasubramanian Brahmadesam Canthadai

7 months ago

Why dont you add a line as to where donations can be sent any tax benefits for such donations

Balasubramanian Brahmadesam Canthadai

7 months ago

Why dont you add a line as to where donations can be sent any tax benefits for such donations

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Balasubramanian Brahmadesam Canthadai 7 months ago

Why not click on the nina foundation link that we make sure we have given at the end. The donation details are there. The effort is probably a couple of clicks only!!

Nifty, Sensex may fall further – Monday closing report
We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were highly overbought. The major indices of the Indian stock markets suffered a sharp correction on Monday to close more than 1.5% lower than Friday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Monday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The increased possibility of a US rate hike and a rout in Asian and European equities dragged the Indian markets down on Monday, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, banking and capital goods stocks. The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 2,033 declines and 688 advances. On the NSE, on Monday there were 186 advances, 1,251 declines and 53 unchanged.
 
Tata Chemicals on Monday said that the company's fertiliser plant at Haldia, West Bengal is likely to be closed for 5 weeks in February-March 2017 due to "interruption in the supply of ammonia". The company had signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Sanjana Cryogenics Storage (SCSL), its ammonia terminal operator, for rerouting a portion of the ammonia pipeline that runs from Haldia Dock to ammonia storage tank. The pipeline re-routing activity has been done at the directive of Kolkata Port Trust for facilitating the set up a Multi-Modal Terminal Hub at Haldia by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the company said.  "As per the current project status, the expected pipeline re-routing will be scheduled in the month of February-March, 2017 for about five weeks. Further updates in this regard will be provided when the actual shutdown of the Haldia plant for the above purpose is undertaken in February and March, 2017," the company said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange. The company’s shares closed at Rs530.35, down 5.17% on the BSE.
 
India's direct tax collection was up by 15.03% to Rs1.89 lakh crore while the indirect tax collection jumped by 27.5% to Rs3.36 lakh crore during the April to August period this year, an official statement said on Monday. "The figures for direct tax collections up to August 2016 show that net revenue collections are at Rs1.89 lakh crore which is 15.03% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year," Finance Ministry said in a statement. The collection up to August 2016 indicates that 22.30% of the annual budget target of direct taxes has been achieved, it said. Refunds amounting to Rs77,080 crore have been issued during April-August 2016, which is 22.18% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year, it added. On indirect tax collection, the Finance Ministry statement said, "The figures for indirect tax collections (central excise, service tax and customs) up to August 2016 show that net revenue collections are at Rs3.36 lakh crore which is 27.5% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year." The collection up to August 2016 indicates that 43.2% of the annual budget target of indirect taxes has been achieved, it said. The fiscal deficit of the Indian government and the interest rates as set by RBI (Reserve Bank of India), due to domestic compulsions, are unlikely to be a hindrance for the stock market’s upward trend.
 
State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya says a 25 basis points cut in interest rates was in the offing and that an improvement in the financial health of India's banking sector was closely linked to the overall performance of the economy. In an interview to IANS, the 60-year-old banker also said the 4% inflation target fixed by the government is a tad low in an emerging economy like India where food inflation has rarely fallen below 6% in the past 60 years. Nonetheless, she felt the current inflation level is set to fall due to a statistical play that could pave the way for a cut in interest rates by commercial banks -- which the central bank has been asking for, as and when it has itself cut interest rates. "Inflation will start coming down because there was a base effect in the last two months, which was actually pushing inflation up. That effect will moderate in the coming months," she said referring to the current impact of a lower movement in price indices in the previous year. "So, I see no reason why we shouldn't be looking at a small rate cut this year." This decision is favourable for both borrowers and for investors in the Indian stock markets.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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HC stays Andhra's Swiss Challenge method for development of new capital
The Hyderabad High Court on Monday stayed the Swiss Challenge model proposed by the Andhra Pradesh government to award construction projects for its new capital Amaravati.
 
Admitting a petition filed by Aditya Constructions and NVN Engineers challenging the government's decision to adopt the Swiss Challenge model, Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao directed the state to file its response and adjourned the hearing till October 31.
 
The High Court of Judicature in Hyderabad is the common high court for both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Under the Swiss Challenge model, the government or its agency invites a developer to present a bid. Other prospective developers are then asked to offer counter bids. If their bid is lower, the first bidder is asked to submit a fresh bid.
 
If the first bidder comes up with lower bid, it gets the project, and if it fails, the one with lower bid wins the project.
 
The state cabinet in June approved the controversial model for awarding the capital city's development project to the Singapore consortium of Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development Ltd.
 
The government had subsequently floated a special purpose vehicle -- Amaravati Development Company -- to take up various works for construction of the greenfield capital city on the banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district.
 
The Singapore consortium has 58 per cent stake in the SPV while the remaining 42 per cent is held by the Andhra Pradesh government.
 
The Swiss Challenge mode has come under criticism in various countries, as well as opposition parties in the state, who alleged that it lacks transparency and favours a particular company.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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