Living in a diverse country like India comes with acknowledging the diversity of interests, values, culture, and, most importantly, of people. In achieving the diversity, equity, and inclusivity goals of the specially-abled section of society, many would concur that the job gap for this group is pronounced. Unconscious bias, obtaining equal opportunities, and the lack of critical infrastructure are just a few of the obstacles that the specially-abled community still has to overcome. Since the passage of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2016, some organizations have worked to create workplaces that are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities too. One such organization is KFC India.
In their efforts towards bridging the diversity gap with their flagship program KFC Kshamata, KFC India has opened their most inclusive restaurant in the country, in Pune, recently operated by more than 50% speech & hearing-impaired team members. The restaurant has been designed keeping accessibility at the core, with elements including menu & décor features and a wheelchair-friendly seating arrangement. Also, all the signage within the restaurant is accompanied by iterations in Indian Sign Language, including the brand's signature at the entry and all areas within the restaurant, like the ordering section, digital kiosks, and the order pickup station. The restaurant also features a signature wall featuring alphabets A to Z in braille and Indian Sign Language to encourage patrons visiting the restaurant to #SpeakSign.
The restaurant embodies the brand's efforts within 'Kshamata,' a program to bridge the gender and ability imbalance gap. With KFC Kshamata, the brand has pledged to drive 2X empowerment by 2024 by doubling the number of Special KFCs, restaurants run by speech & hearing-impaired team members and increasing the women workforce at the restaurants. KFC India has been a pioneer in enabling the speech & hearing impaired by extending employment and growth opportunities since 2008. Today, they employ and support more than 150 speech & hearing-impaired team members across 19 cities.
The idea behind providing equal opportunities for the specially abled is that the brand believes that there is a place for everyone at the table and is committed to promoting a culture that stands for inclusion and respect, regardless of gender, race, or sexuality. KFC's founder, Colonel Sanders' rightly says, "the spirit of inclusion is part of the fabric of the brand's culture."
Recently, the brand announced a milestone in its journey with Kshamata, with the appointment of the first specially-abled Restaurant General Manager in Hyderabad. The brand has also been supporting and promoting the sport of deaf cricket as a Principal Sponsor of the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA).KFC India,
through its efforts and initiative over the last few years, has set an example that small steps go a long way in building a more inclusive society. With such a bold move by the brand and many others already in this direction, doesn't it now become our responsibility as individuals to support one another? The Logical Indian
applauds the brand for upholding its promise of feeding people's potential by taking another step forward in their Kshamata