VIBEWA National conference 2023
Visually Impaired Bank Employees Welfare Association, VIBEWA, the first of its kind registered association for blind and low vision bank employees across the cadre and across the country, held the national conference for blind/low vision bank employees across the country at AICB Delhi on January 28, 2023 to discuss various issues pertaining to the working conditions of Visually impaired bank employees.
The conference was inaugurated by Shri Rajesh Agarwal, Secretary Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, government of India and Shri Hardik Seth director banking division Ministry of Finance was the guest of honor along with Padmashree J.L. Kaul general secretary All India Confederation of the Blind, Shree Prashant Ranjan Varma General Secretary NAB Delhi and Shree Ravindra Singh general secretary Delhi and Rajasthan chapter of Indian bank officers’ union.
Secretary MSJE Shri Agarwal delineated various steps taken by the ministry for accessibility, reasonable accommodation, reservation of jobs and assured to correct the skewed emphasis placed on other disabilities at the cost of the blind in skill development programmes. VIBEWA president Shri Rajesh Asudani outlined the vision and mission of VIBEWA and the need to meticulously ensure the compliance of various notifications of the government in the form of including it in audit of institutions by the ministry. Shri Himanshu Sahu delineated various activities of VIBEWA since inception which have immensely benefited the sector. Director MoF assured to resolve the long pending issues like enhancing the special conveyance allowance to the employees with disabilities, due compliance of various notifications issued by the ministry regarding accessibility, reasonable accommodation, posting and transfer of employees with disabilities, GRC for PWD etc. on the part of banks and other financial institutions in liaison with organizations like VIBEWA.
The conference proceeded to discuss various issues like job roles for visually impaired bank employees—new frontiers, legal remedies to redress the grievances of such employees, accessibility initiatives taken by various banks, Innovative use of assistive technology at the workplace, capacity development of VI bank employees and so on. The panelists included:
Rajesh Asudani AGM reserve bank of India and president VIBEWA;
Himanshu Sahu senior manager Indian bank and General Secretary VIBEWA;
Surya Jyothi Metlapalli assistant SBI and Treasurer VIBEWA;
Rahul Gambheer senior manager Union bank and Executive Committee member VIBEWA;
Amit Pahuja assistant Manager SBI;
Pushkar Raj Pande senior manager UBI;
Mohammad Khalid Chief manager PNB;
Mohammad Parvesh senior manager Indian bank;
Surendra Raina Manager, Jammu and Kashmir grameen bank;
Akhilesh Dahiya law officer Indian bank;
Manoj Yadav Rajbhasha officer RBI;
Yogesh Chhabra SBI;
Adv. Subhash Chandra Vashishth lawyer and disability rights activist;
Amar Jain corporate lawyer;
George Abraham CEO score foundation;
Khandu Bandare SBI foundation, etc
Following resolutions were unanimously adopted in the conference
i. To strive for filling up of the backlog of vacancies for blind and low vision in banking & finance sector;
ii. To strive for provision of assistive technology immediately upon joining the bank by blind/low vision
and adequate and continuous training in it;
iii. To ensure accessibility of internal and external portals/software of the banks;
iv. To ensure reasonable accommodation to blind and low vision bank employees;
v. Striving for extending reservation in promotion for PWD up to higher scales;
vi. Expanding the already compiled list of jobs being done by VI bank employees and making it
granular by enumerating all the steps involved in various tasks and assessing their accessibility;
vii. assisting VI bankers to secure their due legal rights through structured negotiations and also
through courts if required;
viii. undertaking The capacity building exercises for blind bank employees;
ix. working with sister organizations for disability sensitization; and
x. carving out bank-wise units of VIBEWA.
The recent achievements of The association including favorable judgment of CCPD for removing mandatory roles of branch manager and credit officer by SBI for the promotion of the blind officers from scale iii to iv, forestalling the unwarranted mass transfers of the disabled employees by a prominent public sector bank etc. were also highlighted.
The conference concluded with an open house for participants, which numbered more than a hundred from all over India, to voice their queries and suggestions.
It was followed by the general body of VIBEWA wherein the newly and unanimously elected executive committee of the association was installed.
The newly elected executive committee comprises of the following members:
Rajesh Asudani President;
Dr. Paul Mudda vice-president;
Himanshu Sahu General Secretary;
Rahul Gambheer Secretary1
Mohammad Parvesh Secretary2
Surya Jyothi Metlapalli Treasurer;
A. Srinivasulu Executive Committee member.
V. Krishnamurthy Honorary member
The conference was highly appreciated by all the participants and they unanimously expressed the desire and need for more such conferences.
VIBEWA Successfully Challenges Discriminatory Promotion Policy of SBI
Visually Impaired Bank Employees Welfare Association (VIBEWA) is an association of visually impaired people working in the banking, insurance and other financial sectors in India. VIBEWA is the first association in the country formed exclusively for the empowerment and welfare of visually impaired employees in the banking and other financial sectors.
VIBEWA aims to empower the visually challenged employees in the banking and other financial sectors by bringing them on to one platform and address issues that concern them at their work place due to their visual impairment. The main goal for which the association strives is to enhance the productivity of visually challenged employees in banking and other financial sectors by ensuring them conducive work environment which involves proper job identification and job mapping, provision of assistive technology like screen readers and magnifiers, accessibility of internal softwares and portals, special training for using computers, provision of human assistance where ever indispensable, etc. To know how assistive technology helps blind and low vision people at work place, visit the link
VIBEWA believes in empirical approach. So, we put together a compilation of actual job roles and activities performed by various blind and low vision persons in banks. The inputs were gathered from the persons who actually do those job activities. The document is a work in progress and is a potential guiding resource for VI employees as well as sighted managers who are struggling for proper job roles for VI. It can be viewd at:
VIBEWA also focuses on protection for visually challenged employees against unwarranted transfers, removal of illogical impediments in promotions, securing reservation in promotions, provision of adequate disability related allowances like special conveyance allowance, etc.
VIBEWA Delegation met minister-of-state in PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh, CCPD Shri Kamlesh Kumar Pande and MSJE officials on September 23, 2016, and submitted to them a comprehensive report on the challenges before VI bank employees and the way ahead. The first-of-its kind report documents the lived experience of blind and low vision bank employees across the country and puts forth banks’version in form of RTI replies along with relevant legal provisions and suggestions to implement them on the ground. The minister positively assured to examine the report and issue necessary instructions.
VIBEWA intends to help visually challenged candidates aspiring for banking jobs by disseminating information relating to job notifications, syllabus of entrance examinations, tips for writing examinations and facing interviews, etc. In addition, through VIBEWA , they will also be able to seek guidance from experienced bankers on passing the exams and facing the interviews.
This movement started as an e-group with just 2 visually challenged bank employees in 2009. Today, it has more than 700 members hailing from different parts of the country with representation from all the public sector and even some private sector banks! VIBEWA comprises visually challenged bank employees, those aspiring for banking careers, and volunteers who are motivated to help their visually challenged friends.
We invite visually challenged bank employees to come on board and join VIBEWA by creating their profile. Also, we invite blind and low vision bankers to become members of VIBEWA so that each one of us becomes an active stake holder in our collective destiny as visually impaired bank employees.