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Sharing his own experience, UN SDG Youth Leader Kartik Sawhney calls for equal opportunity at work for persons with disabilities and building an inclusive world for all.

There are over 1.3 billion people with disabilities around the world, myself included. And like everyone else, education is absolutely critical for us as it is a mean to good employment opportunities, and living standards.

Yet, statistics show an alarming rate of illiteracy and unemployment in the community much worse than the general public.

Like everyone else, education is absolutely critical for us as it is a mean to good employment opportunities, and living standards.

Why? I’ve often asked myself. Lack of resources is the most common answer that I’ve gotten from others. But is this really the case? In my view, it is instead the lack of awareness, sensitivity and acceptance continue to prevail in our society even today. I personally was denied the opportunity to study engineering at the best technology school in my country simply because the administration could not understand my needs and abilities.

On the contrary, my current employer strongly believes in the unique perspectives that people with diverse disabilities bring, which help them develop more inclusive products and services. It is just the attitude and mindset which make all the differences in the end in my view.

The need of the hour is to increase diversity, accept each other, value everyone’s strength and work to provide everyone with equal opportunity to do their absolutely best.  

So the need of the hour is to increase diversity, accept each other, value everyone’s strength and work to provide everyone with equal opportunity to do their absolutely best.  


Kartik Sawhney is a disability advocate and technologist graduated from Stanford University. He received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award 2016 from Her Majesty The Queen. He is the first blind student to pursue science education in high school in India. He co-founded Project StemAccess (now I-Stem) that provides technical training, mentorship and hands-on opportunities to blind math and science students across the country.

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