International Day Of People With Disabilities: Vedanta Aluminium Bats For Greater Inclusivity

The company employs several differently-abled individuals in functions as varied as Commercial, Human Resources, and Security


On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Vedanta Aluminium,India's largest producer of aluminium, reaffirms its commitment to bolstering diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DE&I) across India’s manufacturing landscape. The company employs several differently abled individuals within its operations at present. On the occasion, it put together numerous initiatives aimed at driving greater awareness around the challenges faced by the differently abled, and how a more inclusive world can be created by being empathetic to their unique needs. The company’s endeavour is especially significant, given the complexity of tasks in the heavy engineering, metals, and manufacturing sectors.

Differently abled professionals at Vedanta Aluminium are provided specialized training from domain experts to excel in their respective responsibilities. These individuals, facing impairments ranging from loss of vision to limited mobility, have been strategically placed in roles that align most closely with their unique skillsets, spanning functions such as commercial, human resources, security, housekeeping, storekeeping, and carpentry.

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the initiatives organised were a blend of both community awareness and employee sensitisation initiatives. At its mega aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Vedanta Aluminium organised an interaction between differently abled employees, their family members and their extended team members. During the insightful session, the employees shed light on their lived experiences as differently-abled individuals, ensuring that all participants came away with a much deeper understanding about their challenges and triumphs, and how each individual could play their part in making a more inclusive workplace. Several employee volunteers from BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer in Korba, Chhattisgarh, also engaged with differently abled children at the Divya Jyoti School, a government school for the differently abled, through activities such as inspirational storytelling and hand painting.

The company also launched special learning modules on Menstrual Health Management for visually, speech & hearing-impaired children. In addition, it undertook a ‘Stitch My Own Pad’ campaign to fight period poverty. Women with disabilities face greater challenges in ensuring menstrual hygiene, often contending with the dual stigmas against menstruation and disabilities. Through this capacity building program, they are empoweredto stitch their own reusable cloth pads, providing safe menstrual health management alternatives.  Meanwhile, at the company’s alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, awareness & sensitization sessions were also undertaken for the students of Ambadola Samant Junior College, Rayagada, motivating them to better support those with special needs. The company also plans to hold an identification & appliance support camp for differently abled persons in close association with ‘Jaipur Foot’, an NGO that provides prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids free of cost to those in need.

On the occasion,Mr. John Slaven, CEO, Vedanta Aluminiumsaid, "At Vedanta Aluminium, we believe that embracing diversity is not just a moral imperative but a strategic advantage. By hiring differently-abled individuals and providing specialized support, we aim to create a workplace where unique perspectives contribute to our collective success. Our efforts seek to go beyond standard practices, focusing on building a truly inclusive workplace through comprehensive strategies. We believe in fostering an inclusive workplace that not only embraces diversity but also harnesses it for exponential growth and innovation. This approach has enabled us to remain at the forefront of people practices in the industry while ensuring taking our communities along with us towards achieving sustainable progress."

Vedanta Aluminium endeavours to build the capabilities of its differently-abled employees to handle job responsibilities at par with their colleagues and successfully join the socio-economic mainstream. The company facilitates this inclusion through a five-step strategy:

  1. Identifying potential individuals for hiring
  2. Comprehensive skill-focused training by experts
  3. Fostering an enabling environment via sensitisation sessions for the employees at large
  4. Enabling policies and processes
  5. Infrastructure enhancements that ensure equitable approaches and accessibility

Hiring differently-abled personnel offers an opportunity for businesses to go beyond standardised approaches and focus on building a workplace that is truly inclusive. This outlook involves implementing safety measures, such as specialized alerts for hearing-impaired individuals, and process enhancements, like procuring customized tools that enhance mobility for those with mobility impairments.  Moreover, Vedanta Aluminium has assigned dedicated Human Resources Business Partners to assist the professionals in accessing appropriate government services such as issuance of disability certificates.

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2ndin the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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