India’s disability sector can contribute $1t to the economy by 2047: Indian-American industry leader
In an interview with Indian news agency PTI, Pranav Desai said with the right strategy, policies, and actions, India’s specially-abled population can significantly contribute to its economic growth.
Pranav Desai (Picture: Pranav Desai LinkedIn account)
PROMINENT Indian-American business leader Pranav Desai has said that India’s specially-abled population has the potential to actively contribute $1 trillion (£788 billion) to the country’s economy by 2047. Founder of the Voice of Specially Abled People, Desai recently visited India and engaged with top leaders of the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, including finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and party president J P Nadda. He also met with Bhupendra Patel, the chief minister of Gujarat, in Ahmedabad to present his vision document for the cause, and travelled to Goa for a volunteer meeting.
In an interview with Indian news agency PTI, Desai emphasised that with the right strategy, policies, and actions, India’s specially-abled population can significantly contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
“India can be a leader in this sector. My proposal was well received in New Delhi,” Desai remarked, reflecting on his discussions with the top leadership in India. He mentioned that during his meeting with Sitharaman, he presented a comprehensive Tax Incentives Package aimed at empowering ‘divyangjan’, a term used to refer to specially-abled persons.
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The package is designed to support the achievement of the $1 trillion goal by 2047 by jump-starting economic activities and direct/indirect hiring for the disability sector, he said. In his meeting with Nadda, Desai presented Vision 2047 for ‘divyangjan’.
“I also explained the strategic importance of the economic argument to transform the disability sector instead of the traditional viewpoint of looking at the disability sector from a welfare perspective only. He requested to promote awareness about the Ability of specially-abled people,” he said.
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“In my meeting with (road transport and highways minister) Shri Nitin Gadkari, I presented to him accessibility and transportation issues faced by individuals with disabilities,” he said. The measures proposed in the vision documents aim to improve mobility and ensure their active participation with “accessibility everywhere” in transportation,” he said.
“I also proposed mandating /recommending the level of hiring of ‘divyangjan’ by the ministry and outsourced vendors,” he added.
Desai said he met Priti Adani, chairperson of the Adani Foundation, to explore and create opportunities for employment of persons with disabilities across various business units. They are working on a memorandum of understanding which aims to leverage the strengths and resources of the Adani Foundation to hire up to 10,000 people from the disability sector for sectors like solar installation, he said.
The discussion with Patel, he said, focused on creating an inclusive and accessible Gujarat, empowering specially-abled people, and harnessing their potential to contribute towards the $1 trillion economic goal of the disability sector in Viksit Bharat (Developed India) by 2047.
(With PTI inputs)