Published on July 30th, 2009 | by Babar Bhatti7
Telenor Khuddar Initiative: Kudos For Pioneering Work For Persons With Disabilities
Telecom companies have made significant impact on how business is conducted in Pakistan. Telenor, for instance, has consistently demonstrated leadership in the area of corporate social responsibility in Pakistan. Telenor’s latest CSR initiative, Khuddar Pakistan, is a good example of how businesse0s can work together with government and civic society to champion an important issue. Khuddar is Urdu for a person with dignity, one who does not depend on others.
An important part of this program is a detailed document with resources and information for persons with disabilities. I am very impressed by the wealth of information, presented in this reference book (3.6MB pdf). Kudos to the team members who created this. Of course, there’s more to it then launching this program – awareness is the first step, after that the program has to be sustained and expanded. More from Telenor about this.
With Khuddar Pakistan, we want to make a difference in the lives of our fellow persons with disabilities by addressing the challenges they face.
We want to change the public mindset by creating awareness about their abilities. We want to help develop technologies that will give them the opportunity to actively participate in our society. We pledge to integrate persons with disability fully into our workforce.
Currently, we are the only company in Pakistan to have a formal disability advisor and a disability advisory panel. We sponsor assistive technology training labs for persons with disabilities at National Institute of Special Education, National Training Center for Special Persons (NTCSP), and Special Talent Exchange (STEP). We have the first corporate products & services/career website that is fully accessible and our staff participate in the first formal employee volunteerism drive in the corporate sector to work with persons with disabilities.
CEO and President Telenor Pakistan, Jon Eddy Abdullah, addressing the inauguration ceremony said, “Some 7-10% of Pakistanis have disabilities, and most of them face adversity at every corner, fight negative social perceptions, are turned away by lack of accessibility, and cannot get adequate trainings and assistive technologies. With Khuddar Pakistan we want to start making a difference in the lives of our fellow persons with disabilities by addressing just these issues with the help of key partners. There has to be an organized effort in this regard and we believe with our expertise in providing mobility and our commitment to empower communities, we can play a role here. We still have a lot to do.”