From the boy who was refused admission in most schools to a person who has shaped many careers, Riitesh Sinha's life story reads like a fairy tale. Born with cerebral palsy in Karnal, Haryana, a town where most people hadn't even heard about his condition, he built his own motorised vehicle just so that he could go to college.
Mr.Sinha was among those who bagged the CavinKare Ability Mastery award at an event held here on Saturday. The computer training centre that he started has taught and transformed the lives of many. “I just wanted to show that people with cerebral palsy can also work,” he said, after receiving the award. “Society would always try to send you out, but never give up.” Two others, Azeem Bolar from Bangalore and Bhavana Botta from Chennai, were also awarded the Mastery award. As he was getting close to his dream of becoming a successful hotelier,
Mr. Bolar's vision started deteriorating due to juvenile arthritis. Undeterred, he changed his career and studied to become a counsellor. But a stroke rendered him completely blind and paralysed on the left side of the body. “I must have fallen 50 to 100 times,” said Mr.Bolar. “But I stood. I walked.”
Terming the resolve of the winners as “unparalleled”, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik said that their stories gave him inspiration to work harder. “We are in the process of formulating a new law to replace the Persons With Disabilities Act, 1995. It would be a landmark legislation,” he said.
He said that a national festival for persons with disabilities would be held for the first time within a few months. “It would serve as a platform for the differently-abled to showcase their talent,” Mr.Wasnik said.
He also presented the CavinKare Ability Eminence award to Mohammad Iqbal from Ladakh, who had overlooked his own disability and fought for the rights of others by setting up the People's Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR). CavinKare Chairman and Managing Director C.K.Ranganathan and Director of Ability Foundation Jayshree Raveendran spoke.
The Hindu was the media partner for the event.
Union Minister Mukul Wasnik said a new legislation would soon replace Persons With Disabilities Act