Catalyzing social and economic change in India by providing equal opportunity and access to employment for the specially abled. More than one billion people - 15% of the world's population - live with some form of disability. The 2011 Census data informs us that of the 26 million people with disabilities (PwDs) in India, close to 16 million are in the employable age group, of which a large majority lacks meaningful employment. With appropriate support, people with disabilities have the talent to pursue meaningful careers and play a role in India's economic success. Work is fundamental to our lives. Coupled with skill/ ability based fair income, it offers purpose and opportunity to lead an independent life. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, Article 27, recognizes the right to participate in the labour market and in a work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. It is in this context that Thums Up, Being Human, CNN-IBN, and America India Foundation (AIF) launched Campaign VEER in January 2014. Campaign Veer, a national digital and media campaign to generate awareness and advocate for inclusion, accessibility, and employment of persons with disabilities was launched last year. In its first year, the campaign has trained more than 1000 VEERS and provided employment to 573 of them with the help of 147 employers. The success of VEER 1 would not be possible without the commitment and belief from the leadership team at Coca-Cola India, who were determined to make a difference in the lives of PwDs. I’m deeply grateful for their support. Our learnings from Campaign VEER are significant and valuable. We engaged with partners, employers, donors and persons with disabilities and we listened to their different perspectives. PwDs spoke about their employment aspirations; they are looking for OPPORTUNiTIES and fair treatment. They are looking for employment based on their skills and talent. Our increased interactions with employers show that they are sensitive to the aspirations of PwDs and are working to creating an enabling ecosystem to grow employment opportunities faster. The number of employers who spot and develop disabled talent, not as a charitable pursuit but as a bottom line focused business opportunity, i am happy to share, is growing significantly. Campaign VEER has proved to us that the opportunity of securing roles across the economy is not just an aspiration for PwDs, it is a reality. Going forward, we at AIF remain committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India by providing equal opportunity and access to employment for persons with disabilities, based on a simple belief-it is one's ability, not disability, that defines any individual. AIF's Ability Based Livelihoods Empowerment (ABLE) program trains persons with disabilities in fundamental and specialized skill sets, and facilitates their entry into the job market through a robust advocacy platform for disability inclusion, promoting inclusive growth in India. Unleashing the potential of persons with disabilities, SEASON 2 of VEER holds promise of an exciting future. We look forward to scaling the program more than twice. We will achieve it with the help of current partners and with the support two new partners- Government of India and The Hans Foundation. M.A. Ravi Kumar is the CEO of the American India Foundation Note from the Editor: Thums up, CNN IBN and Being Human along with American India Foundation (AIF) launched the ‘VEER’ campaign in 2014: an initiative focused on unleashing the potential of the differently abled people in our country. VEER shares its core philosophy with Thums Up, in believing everyone has potential which need to be unleashed. The initiative aims at providing differently abled people across India, a voice and an opportunity to fulfil their own ambition.To Know more about VEER Click the link below: Click Here