Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December, Brookfield Properties today hosted “India Inc.-The Valuable 500” at The Leela Palace, New Delhi in association with CII-India Business Disability Network (IBDN) and EnAble India. Standing firm on its commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion at the workplace, Brookfield Properties has joined The Valuable500, a global campaign that strives to ensure businesses recognize the importance of the world’s one billion people living with disabilities.
20 conscious and responsible business leaders from India took a pledge to take affirmative actions for Disability Inclusion; namely- Mahindra, Brookfield Properties, Accenture, IBM, ANZ Bank, Laguna, VINDHYA, Schindler, Central Group Asia, Lalit Hospitality, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Olive Bar & Kitchen, The Linde Group, Sansera Engineering Ltd, Dusters Total Solutions Services Pvt Ltd, Spark Minida, Mphasis, Refinitiv, ALLEGIS and State Street.
Ankur Gupta, MD, Head Indian Real Estate, Brookfield Asset Management said, “I am grateful to be part of this important event. It’s also a privilege for Brookfield Properties to lead the Valuable 500 initiative in India along with CII-India Business Disability Network (IBDN). Although we have been committed to disability inclusion at our campuses from the very beginning of our operations, joining The Valuable 500 is a whole new chapter for us. Since inception, we have taken several initiatives around this cause and have been striving to make all our business parks in India universally accessible. However, we believe that it is not enough and we can do much more. This event is a part of that vision.”
“We feel there is a dire need to bring in disability inclusion at the corporate level for PWDs. I am gripped to see the turnout and engagement for the agenda of The Valuable500. This shows that the leaders are actually taking diversity and inclusivity initiatives at their workplace and treating professionals with disabilities as equals. Events like this are very crucial at the moment when it comes to sensitizing masses around the world and making it a disability-inclusive place to grow with equal opportunities.” said Lakshmi C, Managing Director, Human Resources Lead, Accenture in India.
(Left)Shanti Raghavan, Founder EnAble India, Shantanu Chakraborty, Senior Vice President – Brookfield Properties(Middle), Carolnie Casey, Founder, The Valuable500(Right)
Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable500 said, “I am super proud and excited to see the enthusiasm among companies to commit to bringing disability on their board agenda. The response is overwhelming and how this initiative is sparking and spreading to different geographies across the globe at such a short time span. I am sure these efforts will not go in vain but further drive a positive impact around numerous workplaces around the world.”
Mr. Anand Mahindra Chairman, Mahindra Group and Arundhati Bhattacharya, Former Chairman, State Bank of India also shared their views on “Changing our outlook at the corporate level towards PWDs and making it a Board Room Agenda,” with specially recorded video messages.
The event witnessed a panel discussion, followed by a Q&A session on the theme ‘Get Transformed: See The Value Of Inclusion and Solutions’. The event concluded with an exhilarating dance performance by PWDs from an award winning NGO, We Are One, who mesmerized the audience by presenting impressive dance steps with an ease on the wheelchair.
To date, more than 400 companies globally have signed up the Valuable 500 to support this cause and many are already in the process of joining it. Even in the Indian context, the number of such companies is in a constant rise, making disability inclusion a part of their vision.