AkzoNobel taking a step towards Trans-Inclusion in workforce
Deepa, a 22 year-old transgender in Kolkata, is a 12th-class pass who worked in a statue-making camp for a daily wage of Rs 100.
While making ends meet was hard enough, being an outcast and disrespected for owning his sexuality made life very difficult for Deepa and his family.
“I was made to feel small, like I don’t deserve to live a dignified life. We transgenders are expected to naturally end up as beggars or sex workers. That’s when I decided to take things into control. I made a choice to build a livelihood with dignity,” says Deepa, who underwent the AkzoNobel Decorative Painting Training Program. “I currently work as a painter for nearly Rs 10,000/ month. Not only am I able to support my family now, I am also able to show that the transgender community deserves to live a normal, dignified life like all others in the society. We just need to be given a chance.”
This is the story of many transgenders in Kolkata, who amongst others, have chosen to be skilled in Decorative Paint application. This program is provided by AkzoNobel Paint Academy.
According to a study conducted by the National Human Rights Commission in 2018, 96 per cent transgenders are denied jobs and are forced to take low paying or undignified work for livelihood like badhais, sex work and begging. The study also revealed that about 92 per cent of transgenders are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activity in the country, with even qualified ones refused jobs.
50-60 per cent of this community never attended schools and those who did, faced severe discrimination. Only 6 per cent transgenders were employed in private sectors or NGOs, back then, with only 1 per cent transgenders earning above Rs 25,000.
The key mission of AkzoNobel Paint Academy is to provide a dignified livelihood to vulnerable sections of the society through providing skill training along with Sambhav Foundation, the CSR implementation partner aiming to impact livelihoods at scale.
In the last 2 years, apart from providing training to transgenders, AkzoNobel has also provided training prison inmates (at Faridabad & Thane) and youth rehabilitated from drug use (at Imphal).
This empowerment project for youth through skilling has opened a new career path to transgenders and other neglected sections of the society who often faces challenge in getting a dignified livelihood.
In this academy, post training, candidates are assessed and certified as professional painters. All eligible candidates are also provided job placements with local paint contractors for painting gigs. Along with ensuring a fair pay for candidates, hiring contractors, who hire transgenders are sensitized about transgenders and their rights, to ensure candidates are treated with respect and dignity at their workplace.
AkzoNobel, a global leader in paints and coatings has been associated with Sambhav Foundation, the CSR implementation partner, since 2016. The relationship has been renewed with commitment to touch and enable more candidates across Mohali, Kolkata and Bangalore over these years.
Thousands of unemployed youths have been trained across locations under multiple interventions under this association and are enabled with job opportunities since.
AkzoNobel India has been present in India for over 60 years and is a significant player in the paints industry. In 2008, the company became a member of the AkzoNobel Group. With employee strength of around 1,500, AkzoNobel India has manufacturing sites, offices and a distribution network spread across the country.
All manufacturing facilities have a state-of-the-art environmental management system. Its commitment to Health, Safety, Environment and Security (HSE&S) has been among the best-in-class globally, with due care being taken to protect people and the environment.
For more information, please visit www.akzonobel.co.in
Sambhav Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, works for social justice and empowers the weaker sections of society with the right infrastructure, education, and means of livelihood. Sambhav provides mentoring and nurturing to individuals and groups to enhance livelihoods in the informal sector, ensuring health and well-being, building skills, and uplifting through employment and entrepreneurship. We drive change for women, youth, and the differently-abled by empowering them with the right knowledge and skills, and linking them to sustainable livelihoods.
Courtesy : LatestLY
Note: This news piece was originally published in latestly.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights .