Telenor Pakistan is one of the first companies in the country to really make disability a priority area on their agenda. This has earned us the recognition as a best-practice case in an international report commissioned by the British Council. Moving from the margins is a custom research report produced for the British Council which examines the challenges, opportunities and policy issues affecting persons with disabilities in Pakistan.


Khuddar Pakistan

Khuddar Pakistan is Telenor Pakistan's flagship corporate responsibility initiative. Launched in July 2009, it focuses on the tri areas of Awareness, Access and Integration. 

Phase 1 of the program dealt mostly with Awareness and Accessibility areas with some experimentation in terms of integration. The following were achieved during the execution of Phase 1:

  • Hiring of a total of 22 persons with disabilities, 16 are still working at Telenor Pakistan.
  • Accessible career web pages
  • Accessible Testing system
  • National, Regional and International Leadership Conferences for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Radio programs, TV interviews and media articles highlighting the cause.
  • Accessibility audits conducted to assess accessibility of all offices and Sales & Service Centers.
  • Telenor Assistive Technology Centers set up in 2009-10, which function as training labs at the National Institute of Special Education (NISE) and office of the Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), both of which are based in Islamabad
  • A cell phone repair workshop set up at National Training Center for Special Persons NTCSP Islambad to promote vocational and livelihood skills among PWDs
  • Open Mind Pakistan: Unique Trainee Program for Persons with Disability (Link)

Pioneering into Mainstreaming – Open Mind Pakistan

Telenor Pakistan takes pride in the fact that it is not only one of the first employers in the country to take up Disability is a priority agenda, but also among the first to implement a program translating ambitions into concrete outcomes.

Being an equal opportunity employer, Telenor Pakistan has focused on mainstreaming Disability by forging strategic partnerships, raising awareness through advocacy, trainings and volunteerism, ensuring building accessibility and enabling inclusion in the work force. Telenor Pakistan is among the first companies to encourage employment opportunities for PWDs and facilitate process through accessible technologies.

In 2013 Telenor Pakistan proudly announced the launch of Open Mind Pakistan (a localized adaptation of similar program in Telenor Norge) a special trainee program for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), making it the first BU outside Scandinavia to strategically take up the Initiative. In the absence of any precedence or governing framework in the country, the program is widely acclaimed and termed as an exemplary success story that can be adopted and replicated in public and private sectors to any scale.


Batch 1 and Impact

The program was formally launched by Corporate Responsibility in 2013 with the objective of enhancing the employability of PWDs through skill development, mentoring and on job training. An accessible recruitment model was developed for which a renowned disability consultant was on boarded to bring in technical prowess and best practices.

The model constituted:

  • Formulation of recruitment policies based on diversity and equal opportunity
  • Advertisements through accessible Career Portal, digital & mass media
  • Assessment of the applicants on basis of talent and eligibility while accommodating their special needs
  • Creation of regular job slots across the organization suitable to the skills set, education and abilities
  • Sensitization of the workforce through advocacy, communication campaigns and specialized trainings.
  • Modification in physical infrastructure and ensuring building accessibility including emergency evacuation protocols, ramps, signage, designated parking, transportation facility, accessible washrooms and workstations.

After a thorough on line testing and screening process, which was specially modified to be accessible for visual & hearing impaired, 16 shortlisted PWDs were given functional and on job training for three months at Assistive Training Center, Directorate General of Special education DGSE, Government of Pakistan.

8 finalists were subsequently placed across the organization for an extended period of 9 months while the rest were referred to inclusive partner organization.

Till November 2014, one Open Mind trainee has been offered a permanent position in Technology Division, owing to his exceptional performance and two of the referred trainees have been recruited by partner organizations through the Open Mind Referral Network.

In September 2014, Corporate Responsibility Team initiated Open Mind Batch 2.

Going forward in 2015 the learning from the first two Batches will be incorporated and the program will be formally handed over from Corporate Responsibility to the Human Capital Division at policy level as a regular recruitment feature.

Open Mind Pakistan Assistive Technology Training Center launch at Directorate General of Special Education


Open Mind Pakistan First Batch Graduation Ceremony

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