It is a general belief that hiring disabled people is not an intelligent step. The proponents of this belief state that the disabled have low productivity, they are difficult to deal with and are expensive thereby it is not economically viable to hire disabled people as employees. This is the very reason that employment opportunities are shut down towards disabled. However, for the first time (most probably) a Saudi local mall has employed the physically challenged people as security guard trainees. This is indeed a remarkable step: these trainee guards are students from Imam Al-Baihaqi High School. The school is in Makkah. According to the reports, the Dhiyafa Mall’s management has employed 8 students from Imam Al-Baihaqi High School. The management of the mall has hired these 8 disabled students under their policy. The policy aims at providing job opportunity to the disabled so that the can fuse into the society. This is a great policy; it shows how much the mall management values their social responsibility. It is a corporate social responsibility that shall be exercised by all the organizations![irp]
The reports also revealed that the school principal himself approached the mall management. He asked them to train some of the school’s students. By hiring some students of the school who are disabled will not only help them integrate into the society yet it will help them to get useful training. The mall management did not turn down the principal’s request and hired 8 of its disabled students as trainee guards. Unlike the general belief, hiring a disabled is economically viable. Research shows that a disabled can be hired at a lower employment cost! Also, they are more punctual and highly productive.
They give out their best and show lower health and safety issues than the normal and abled employees. However, employers are hesitant to employ the disabled! They are unaware of the benefits of employing a disabled worker. A disabled worker can bring a lot of benefits to the workplace. Disabled people are more contended: they appreciate the small opportunities given to them and thereby give their very best. They are less complaining and more hardworking. Loyalty and longevity towards the job are their quality. The Disabled employees are passionate to prove the normal employees that they are not inferior which helps to develop a healthy competition required to enhance the employees’ efficiency.
The supervisor of these 8 students, Raad Al-Harthy, who is a special education teacher at Imam Al-Baihaqi High School, said that the school’s students have a great tendency of learning. They can be trained which will allow them to become an effective member of the society. He says that the school helps them to interact with normal people without any sort of hesitation. The school is credited to enhance the self-confidence of the disabled, improve their skills and motivate them to work hard. These steps are necessary as they help them integrate into society.
The students have expressed their happiness. They are thankful for being provided with a great piece of opportunity which has opened the avenues of learning. They say that it is indeed a great chance to overcome the difficulties of communication. Al-Harthy also appreciated the seriousness of students towards their training. He says he is very pleased with the students as they show up on time and obey all the orders. They are working hard and complete their duty hours. They are obedient and follow the given set of instructions very well. Al-Harthy also provides the students with the transport facility. He drives the students every day to the mall at 8:00 a.m. He also picks them up from their workplace at 11 a.m. and drops at the school. The students are reported to work 3 days a week.
Al-Harthy has urged the people to help the disabled students. They need all the support of the people. The people are duty bound to take care of these disabled students as care and affection will help them be confident. We need to improve the condition of these disabled people of our society, only if we help them they can move way too ahead. But if we do not look after them, they surely will suffer a lot and could never improve their performance. The manager of Dhiyafa Mall Mr. Marwan Bahrawi informed the public that Mr. Osama Zaini who is the mall owner had provided them with specific instructions.
The management was instructed to take part in a program that shall be in line with the social responsibility. The mall shall be able to fulfill its social responsibilities. He also said that the stores in the mall were reluctant to hire the disabled as the principal said that they could work from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. they said it wasn’t feasible for them to hire employees for 3 hours a day only. So, the company which provided with security to the mall was contacted. They then agreed to utilize the disabled student’s services and help them to get trained.
The disabilities of these students vary. Some are suffering from Down’s syndrome; some have low IQ levels while some have been physically disabled. The trainees are young; their age varies between 21 and 23. The young disabled students have already proven themselves in a short time. They have told everyone that they are an important and unutilized asset. They are working professionally as they are passionate and are very punctual.[irp]
The visitors and the shop owners both are delighted by their work. Mansour Al-Harbi is the person in charge of the disabled students. He too appreciated the work of these young trainees. He said that they did well in their jobs. They are also very good when it comes to greeting the visitors. They welcome the shopping mall visitors with a smile and readily aid those who require! It is also reported that the salaries of the students will be paid by the mall owner.
Source: Saudi Gazette