National Conference On
Sustainable Development of Persons with Disabilities through
Food Processing Industries

22 March, 2016 , Chandigarh

About the event

Enhancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities is one of the main concerns of the disability sector in India.
 
There is growing evidence that people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 10 percent of the Indian population (around 40-90 million individuals). Throughout the world, the persons with disabilities are entrepreneurs and self-employed workers, farmers, factory workers, doctors’ teachers, shop assistants, bus drivers, artists, and computer technicians. The slow progress in expanding opportunities for disabled people in India results in substantial losses to people with disabilities themselves, and to society and the economy at large in terms of under-developed human capital, loss of output from productive disabled people, and impacts on households and communities. One may hardly find any job or assignment that cannot be performed by the persons with disabilities. If given the proper environment, majority of them can be made economically productive and useful citizens. But as things stand today, the situation is quite precarious in both developed and developing countries, where working age persons with disabilities experience significantly lower employment rates and much higher unemployment rates than in case of persons without disabilities. Thus, there are vicious linkages between disability, poverty, malnutrition, hunger and unemployment. Significantly, labour market outcomes in case of persons with disabilities are impacted by various factors--including; productivity differentials; labour market imperfections related to discrimination and prejudice, and disincentives created by disability benefit systems.
 
The Food Processing Industry in India has the potential to contribute to the country’s agricultural growth and employment, alleviate rural poverty, guarantee food and nutritional security and contain food inflation. Agro-processing is now regarded as the sunrise sector of the Indian economy in view of its large potential for growth and likely socio economic impact specifically on employment and income generation. It is widely accepted that the food processing sector is the most appropriate sector for creating jobs for rural poor, and thus reduce the burden on agricultural sector for creation of their livelihood. This is due to their familiarity with the agricultural sector which would make it easier to train and place them in food processing enterprises. Therefore, optimum opportunities must be provided so as to galvanize the potentials and capabilities of the persons with disabilities in food processing industries. Accordingly, a number of schemes/ plan formulated by the Government of India are being implemented for instituting and modernizing food processing units, creation of infrastructure, research and development and human resource development,' apart from other promotional measures aimed at expanding the processed food sector. Ironically, there is abysmally lack of awareness or dissemination of information among the persons with disabilities and their carers about the avenues of their engagement in food processing related activities as a sustainable source of livelihood.
 
With this background ASSOCHAM is organizing National Conference on “Sustainable Development of Persons with Disabilities through Food Processing Industries” on 22nd March, 2016 at Chandigarh. This conference will be a key event with the aim to generate and enhance employment opportunities in food processing sector for people with disabilities and empowering them through skills and vocational training.
 
Objectives Of The Conference
  • Exploring the avenues for sustainable development of the persons with disabilities (living in rural, hilly and tribal areas) through food processing related activities/ industries.
  • To study the existing Policies/Programmes/Schemes related to Employment which could and should affect the lives of people with disabilities.
  • To study the reach of these Schemes and to analyze their impact with respect to the actual needs of people with disabilities in rural areas.
  • To create awareness or dissemination of information among the persons with disabilities and their carers about the avenues of their engagement in food processing related activities as a sustainable source of livelihood.
  • Addressing the issues related to Disability, Food Processing and Safety
  • Exploring the avenues of Employment of person with disabilities in private sector.