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To promote awareness and sensitivity to the hearing impaired, ONGC took a unique HR initiative to organize a workshop to understand the deaf culture through lessons of learning alphabets, self-introduction and other basics in Indian sign language. The workshop conducted on 29 November 2020 was graced by the presence of Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal.

The workshop was conducted by co-founder of award winning social enterprise GiftAbled Prarthana Kaul and was attended by Chief SDCs Shashi Prasad and around 40 other participants from various work centers of ONGC. Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal noted that the significance of the workshop and stated how it will boost making ONGC an inclusive workplace. Dr Mittal stated that it is not enough to just recruit Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the organization but the main focus should be in engaging and including the PwD employees in the mainstream.

Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal speaking of the significance of the unique workshop
Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal speaking of the significance of the unique workshop

Dr Mittal noted that while disability like other abilities is a part of God’s plan, it is our responsibility to help PwDs tide over the challenges by creating an inclusive and equal-opportunity society. “There are several PwD employees in ONGC and it is a pleasure to witness so much effort made by them to be effective to the organization and the nation at large. There is a lot for us to learn from how they overcome their challenges to communicate with us. Me, having the habit to usually use my hands while communicating, is personally vey inquisitive to learn the sign language,” said Dr Mittal.

Conducting the interactive and engaging workshop, Ms Prarthana Kaul mentioned that it is important that everyone strives to learn different ways of expressing oneself. Ms Kaul said that slowly the paradigm to consider someone using sign language as deaf has been shifting since there are several volunteers too these days.

GiftAbled co-founder Prarthana Kaul conducting the engaging session
GiftAbled co-founder Prarthana Kaul conducting the engaging session

Ms Kaul joined the session with a volunteer from GiftAbled Manju, who is hearing impaired and despite the challenges is responsible for selling various products made by PwDs. “Today’s session signifies that we should always unlearn and re-learn. Over the years, I have worked with over 20,000 volunteers working on different issues and each experience has been a learning opportunity for me,” said Ms Kaul.

Chief SDCs Shashi Prasad delivering the welcome address
Chief SDCs Shashi Prasad delivering the welcome address

Chief SDCs Shashi Prasad said that nowadays several initiatives are being taken to create an inclusive society and facilitate the engagement of PwDs in general operations. Ms Prasad urged SDCs at regional levels of ONGC to take similar initiatives to further enrich the cause. She mentioned that it is motivating to witness as many as 55 registrations for the workshop among which around 40 employees joined the virtual event live.



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