The Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN), inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina M. P. on 11th December 2016, is a voluntary group of representatives from business, employers’ organizations and selected non-governmental and disabled peoples’ organizations that aims to facilitate disability and work place diversity in Bangladesh from the perspective of the business and human rights cases.
BBDN organized a “Meeting with BBDN Members to Share Experience on Disability Inclusion” on 05 September 2018 at BRAC Center Inn, Dhaka, attended by leading employers from multiple industries, Co-chair of EC of National Skills Development Council, President of Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF), members of BBDN and other organizations working for people with disabilities.
At the beginning of the event, Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Secretary-General of BEF welcomed the guests and provided a brief background on BBDN. Mr. Murteza Khan, Co-chair of EC, BBDN made a presentation to facilitate knowledge sharing on disability inclusion in the workforce, encourage networking, provide an update on BBDN while celebrating the achievements of BBDN till date.
BBDN Board of Trustee members signed the Deed of Trust which was a historic step for the registration of BBDN as a Trust. The Trustees who signed at the event included Mr. Kamran T. Rahman, President BEF, Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman BBDN, Mr. Mansur Choudhuri, Trustee Impact Foundation, Ms. Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, Director ESKE Apparels, Mr. Farooq Ahmed, Secretary General BEF, Mr. Murteza Khan, Co-Chair of EC BBDN and Mr. Faiaz Rahman, Director Urmi Group. Trustees who signed separately were Ms. Laila Kabir, MD Kedarpur Tea Co and Mr. Shafiqul Islam, ED CRP.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between BBDN and Center for Disability in Development (CDD) for providing advisory services to members of BBDN. Mr. Noman Khan, ED CDD, expressed his appreciation for the role employers are now playing with respect to disability inclusion through BBDN.
Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Co-chair of EC of NSDC, opined in his speech that people with disabilities had already proven globally that they are as capable as any able-bodied counterparts as long as they are given the opportunity.
Mr. Kamran T. Rahman, President of BEF, said that while the journey of BBDN has been short, the response from the business community, particularly those who are supporting through inclusion of persons with disabilities, is praiseworthy. He conveyed sincere thanks to the employers and some of the NGO’s, especially members of BBDN who are providing efforts to institutionalize the Network nationwide.
Two successful candidates with disabilities placed in jobs through BBDN at Urmi Group and Akhtar Furniture shared their stories, experience and insights. Other guests in attendance also expressed their intention of becoming more disability inclusive within their organizations and where necessary to collaborate with development partners, NGOs and disabled people’s organizations to have a greater and more sustainable impact.
Ms. Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, Co-chair of EC, BBDN concluded the program by giving vote of thanks to all the guests, participants and particularly the members of BBDN who have made it possible for the Network to make noteworthy progress.