Seven from city chosen for 2016 Helen Keller awards

Seven out of the 12 awardees of the Helen Keller Awards 2016 — which recognises those who have strived for equal rights of persons with disabilities — are from Bengaluru.

The 17th edition of the NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards, which are instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled Persons (NCPEDP), will be given on December 2 at New Delhi on the eve of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The awards seek to honour individuals with disabilities who have become ambassadors or contributed for equal opportunities in employment or organisations that have promoted the employment of disabled persons.

All three persons who have awarded the “Role model disabled person” — for being positive role model for other persons with disabilities — are from the city.

Cegeo Thekkel, who is intellectually disabled, works in a private company that promotes alternative education and he manages quality checks of his team of 25 peer data operators as well as trains persons on using communication tools.

Wheelchair-bound Deepa Narasimhan, who is the Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at a multi-national engineering firm, has worked for the past four years in the fields of gender inclusivity as well as mainstreaming of those with disabilities.

Similarly, Pratik Rajiv Jindal, a visually-impaired corporate professional who has broken the proverbial ceiling within the software firm, has worked for the inclusivity of the disability community within the corporate set-up.

In the category of those who have supported the inclusion of disabled in the workplace, Pankajam Sridevi, Managing Director of the Technology services wing of an Australian Bank, becomes the sole awardee from Bengaluru. She is being recognised for her focus on increasing employment of the disabled in the Bengaluru Hub which employs more than 7,000 persons.

And finally, under the “Role model companies” — which have “shown commitment” towards promoting equal employment — the Bengaluru office of Accenture Services Private Limited, CISCO Systems India Private Limited, and DELL EMC have been awarded. Javed Abidi, director of NCPEDP, said while it was a “coincidence” that those in Bengaluru tops the list this year, the awardees reflect the progress made in IT sector. “Services sector has opened up more than other sectors in employing persons from the disabled community. Much of this is concentrated in Bengaluru where companies there seem to be more disabled-friendly,” he said.

Two awards have gone to those based in Mumbai, and one each in Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 1:26:12 am |