Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN) and Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on March 16, jointly organised a webinar on “Disability Inclusive Skills & Employment Opportunities in the Private Sector”.
Bangladesh Business and Disability Network is working tirelessly to enhance the employment-oriented skills of people with disabilities and create employment opportunities for them in the private sector, according to a press release of BBDN. The event was attended by Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry owners and business representatives. Deputy Minister of Education, Barrister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury MP, was present as the chief guest.
The event was held as a part of the implementation of a project called Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) funded by the British Government (Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office).
Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman of BBDN; Mahabubul Alam, President of CCCI; Vashkar Bhattacharjee, National Consultant for Accessibility, Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Program; Murteza Rafi Khan, CEO, BBDN; Zahir Bin Siddique, Country Representative, Leonard Cheshire; Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, Trustee and Chair of EC, BBDN were present at the event as panelists.
The webinar was moderated by Aziza Ahmed, Head of Operation, BBDN.
Zahir Bin Siddique, country representative of Leonard Cheshire, in his opening remarks covered an overview of Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) program. CEO of BBDN, Murteza Rafi Khan, gave an overview of how BBDN works and said that the organisation is currently working as a bridge between persons with disabilities and employers.
Vashkar Bhattacharjee, National Consultant for Accessibility, Aspire to Innovate (a2i) program, said that if the private sector trusts persons with disabilities, it will give confidence to the community and ensure their commitment. He also mentioned that Aspire to Innovate (a2i) program is working to make national helpline disability inclusive.
BBDN Chairman Salahuddin Kasem Khan said, private sector, NGOs and the Government should form a team and work together in order to achieve the constitutional rights of persons with disabilities and to focus on overall economic growth.
Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, Deputy Minister for Education, in his speech shared that the government is working relentlessly, bringing out various aspects of disabilities into educational curriculum. He also mentioned that a shift in psychological and cultural views towards people with disabilities is needed for an inclusive future.
In the closing remarks, Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, Trustee and Chair of EC, BBDN said similar to the poverty alleviation model of Bangladesh, we can also be a model for inclusion in a low resource environment.