NatWest Group India and CII Pioneer a Networking Platform for People with Disabilities and their Carers in India


New Delhi, December 2, 2020: The NatWest Group India (formerly RBS India), the global capability centre of the Natwest Group, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) India Business Disability Network launched SAMBHAV– Enabling Possibilities, a social networking platform for people with disabilities and their caregivers.

With a purpose to champion the potential of the disabled community, this first-of-a-kind technology will bring together parents and carers of persons with disabilities experts, and volunteers working in the disability field. It will allow them to connect with people and promote experience-based learning and information about resources for the greater good of all. Experts empanelled on this platform will also respond to specific queries posted by community members.

SAMBHAV will be a part of the India Business and Disability Network, a CII initiative.

Developed after a careful analysis of existing disability forums and websites to understand features, and functionalities, the uniqueness of SAMBHAV is that it caters specifically to the needs of those engaged in the disability sector in India.

India has a large population of persons with disabilities. Even with these large numbers, PwDs and their caregivers often find it challenging to find the right kind of support system, which is easily accessible and offers the best possible support. To meet this need, the CII India Business and Disability Network and the NatWest Group have joined hands to launch SAMBHAV, which is a first-of-its-kind portal. This portal will serve as an excellent platform for PwDs and their caregivers to share experiences and find experts and resources that will enable inclusion and provide emotional support as well. We see it as a platform which connects diverse stakeholders and becomes the first port of call for PwDs and their caretakers – a platform ‘for the people, of the people and by the people,” said Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, CII – Indian Business and Disability Network & National Committee on Empowerment of Disabilities and Chairman and Managing Director Rasna Pvt. Ltd.

“As a purpose-led organisation, NatWest Group India firmly believes in building an inclusive culture that lets all people bring the best of themselves to work. It is great to see our teams championing the potential of communities by identifying opportunities to support them. I am proud of what we have achieved through this partnership with CII, which will bring us closer to achieving disability confidence across India,” said Punit Sood, Head of India, Natwest Group.

A survey was conducted by NatWest Group India among employees with disability, parents/carers of people with disabilities, and those working in the disability space. The Survey sought to understand existing platforms, the need for resources, and the willingness of people to contribute to this cause.

The Survey revealed that:

  • 50 per cent of the respondents felt there was a need for them to connect to other people who are going through similar experiences.
  • 64 per cent of the parents or carers did not have any support group during the initial days after learning about the disability. Even among those who had support, 75 per cent of them said that it was not easy to find support groups.
  • 65 per cent of respondents said that personal experiences of people, other than blogs and dedicated platforms, could have helped them during that phase.
  • 79 per cent of persons with disabilities or their carers found it difficult to search for specialists online. Most relied on references from friends. Therefore, there was a strong need for a credible source for such information, even if it was online.
  • 79 per cent of the respondents were comfortable sharing their stories or life experiences with others going through similar experiences.
  • The respondents believed that sharing their stories would help them in their work and make their lives more meaningful.

“People with disabilities and their carers often struggle to find the right support system to effectively manage their journey. Our starting point was an employee who has a child with disability. Her struggle to find the right support system for her daughter helped us arrive at this portal. SAMBHAV will help bring the community together, enable parents and carers to support each other, and connect with experts for guidance. This partnership with CII will allow us to make a scalable impact and reach more parents, caregivers, and even organisations where inclusion is an integral part of their culture,” said Reeti Dubey, India D&I Lead, NatWest Group.