Seven men and women and six organisations were honoured with the Twelfth NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awards 2012 on Sunday for their contributions towards improving the lives of disabled persons or serving as role models and a source of inspiration for everyone.
Among the winners in the category for “Role Model Disabled Persons” were Abdul Sajeed Ali, president, Chaitanya Vikulangula Hakkula Vedika; Ketan Kothari, Regional Programme Development Advisor, Social Inclusion, Sight Savers (Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind); Radhika Chand, assistant, Art and Craft Department for Special Section, Vasant Valley School; and Sangeeta Gala, chairperson, National Foundation of Deaf Women.
Abdul Sajeed Ali was awarded for his efforts to ensure that the Andhra Pradesh government provided employment for the disabled under the 100-days' job guarantee scheme. Ketan Kothari is credited with ushering in systemic changes to help visually-impaired people have access to the printed word. Radhika Chand, a person with Down Syndrome is an artist and school teacher. Sangeeta Gala, who is hearing-impaired, is an associate director to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
The awards in this category are given to disabled persons who work within the disability sector or outside who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people and are a positive role model for others.
The awardees in the category of “Role Model Supporters” were Ishita Sanyal, Founder and Director, Turning Point, for promoting employment of mentally-ill people, and R. Hari, General Manager (Human Resources), for making his company, Lemon Tree Hotels Pvt. Ltd, an inclusive workplace.
This category of awards is given to non-disabled persons from within the disability sector or outside who have contributed substantially to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for disabled people over an extended period of time.
A special-mention in this category has also been given to Jaishree Thandwal, Assistant Operations Manager, MphasiS, for promoting recruitment of hearing-impaired people in IT company MphasiS.
Five organisations have been awarded the “Role Model Companies/ NGOs/ Institutions” category award.
They are Aegis Ltd., EuroAble (An Eureka Forbes Initiative), Lemon Tree Hotels Pvt. Ltd., Sun ITES Consulting Pvt. Ltd., Wipro Ltd. These five organisations have been credited with sharing the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People’s vision on disabled rights and “through their policies and practices demonstrated their belief in equal rights and gainful employment for persons with disabilities”. Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd. has been awarded a special mention in this category.