Innovators recognised at the design awards

Published - September 30, 2023 09:13 pm IST - CHENNAI

The award celebrates individuals and organisations that work towards a world of inclusivity, and championing accessibility for all.

The award celebrates individuals and organisations that work towards a world of inclusivity, and championing accessibility for all.

We have a responsibility to understand how society can be more accessible and work towards it, says J. Gunasekaran, founder of Sittruli Trust. Mr. Gunasekaran is one of the awardees from Tamil Nadu who was recently recognised as a part of the 14th NCPEDP (National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People) Mphasis Universal Design Awards.

The award celebrates individuals and organisations that work towards a world of inclusivity and champion accessibility for all. The awards are presented in three categories: persons with disabilities, working professionals, and companies or organisations.

Recognising the need to have more para-sports and related facilities, Mr. Gunasekaran introduced wheelchair basketball in Coimbatore district and has since gone on to organise State-level tournaments as well as facilitate such events in other cities. “We have begun wheelchair basketball training in Erode district as well last week. The Sittruli Foundation aims to create dedicated sports academies for para-sports,” he adds.

Focused on dental innovations, SocioDent, a start-up based in Chennai, has also been recognised as an organisation working towards addressing barriers that persons with disabilities face. Steward Gracian, founder and dentist, said that their assistive oral care device comprises an inclusively designed mouthpiece and a portable external unit. “This aims to provide better oral care and hygiene for persons with disabilities who are unable to use the upper limbs, as well as the elderly,” he explained.

The Museum of Possibilities and Museum Cafe, an initiative of the Department for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, Vidya Sagar, and the Foundation for Vocational Training, have been honoured with special recognition from the jury. The museum was set up to be envisioned as a resource centre for assistive technology, which would act as a bridge between innovators and users.

This year, there are a total of 14 awardees, including those from Tamil Nadu, who have been recognised.

“These incredible innovators and changemakers are on a mission to make India a more accessible and inclusive place for all. Over the past 13 editions of these awards, we have witnessed an array of incredibly inspiring individuals and organisations who have scripted a new path for persons with disabilities through their innovations and persistent efforts,” said Arman Ali, Executive Director of NCPEDP.

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