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Resource id #3 NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Award winners for 2004 announced - Volume 2 Issue 21: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 2 Issue 21 - November 01, 2004

NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Award winners for 2004 announced

DNIS Network News - This year's NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Award winners have been announced.

Every year, the NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awards honour those individuals and organisations who have met the most intrinsic needs of disabled people -- providing them with a means of living.

The award-winners for 2004 were declared on October 30, after intense deliberations by a Selection Committee comprising eminent personalities from industry and the disability sector.

"Given in five categories, the awards are a salute to those individuals and organisations that have done their bit to promote employment of the disabled," says Javed Abidi, Executive Director, NCPEDP. The awards will be presented on December 2, the eve of World Disability Day, in New Delhi.

The winners of this year's awards are:

In Category A, that is, disabled persons from within the field of disability who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people:

  • Kapil Kumar Aggarwal: He is Honorary General Secretary at the Viklang Sahara Samiti based in Delhi, looking after the training and employment of disabled persons. Working for persons with disability since his college days, Aggarwal has been advocating for the employment for disabled and had started Swa-rozgar, a scheme to provide self-employment to disabled people.
  • Sachu Ramalingam: She works for the rehabilitation of the people with low vision. She successfully provided self-employment for 150 visually impaired and hearing persons through a community-based rehabilitation programme in Tamil Nadu.
  • Sesha Giri: Founder of South Eastern Welfare Association for the Handicapped, Giri has been promoting the cause of employment for disabled people. He was instrumental in getting the Railways as well as various State Government establishments to fill up vacancies for disabled people in C & D categories.

In Category B, that is, disabled persons from outside the field of disability who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people:

  • Jyotindra V. Mehta: This visually impaired software engineer performed a key leadership role in setting up a computer programming training programme, the first of its kind in Southern India, at the National Association of the Blind, Karnataka.
  • Rigzin Sampheal: Sampheal stood up against the system after he was excluded from the IAS because of his disability. He refused to accept blatant discrimination and thereby has become a role model for other disabled students.
  • Lokesh Kumar: Lokesh too stood up against the system after he was excluded from the IAS because of his disability. Like Sampheal, he refused to accept discrimination and thereby has become a role model for other disabled students.
  • Ravi Arora: He too refused to bow down when he was excluded from the IAS due to his disability. His stubborn refusal to accept blatant discrimination has earned him this award.

In Category C, that is, non-disabled persons from within the disability sector who have contributed substantially to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for disabled people over an extended period of time:

  • C. Antony Samy: Samy has been involved in training and rehabilitation of disabled people for the past 40 years. He has trained 1,989 students at WORTH Technical Training Centre.
  • M. Srinivas: Working as Chief Employment and Placement officer at National School of Blind, Bangalore, Srinivas has trained over 500 candidates for various competitive examinations and has assisted 600 visually challenged and hearing impaired candidates in getting suitable employment.

In Category D, that is, individuals from outside the disability sector who have been active in promoting the cause of employment for persons with disabilities.:

  • Nishant Dattatray Mhatre: Working with Bombay Textile Research Association, Mhatre has developed a low cost modification of the handloom so that it can be operated by a disabled person.
  • S.B. Sinha and V.N. Khare: Concerned about the cause of persons with disabled, these two judges have passed various judgements that have benefited disabled people and are considered extraordinary judgements.

In Category E fall companies/organisations/institutions that share NCPEDP's vision, and which have demonstrated through their policies and practices their belief in equal rights and gainful employment for persons with disabilities:

  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC): NTPC reflects a healthy trend in recruiting people with disabilities. Due to its clear-cut policies, the organisation has successfully undertaken major initiatives to support disabled persons through various measures.
  • J.W. Marriot Hotel: It is probably the first hotel to employ people with mental disabilities. The hotel endeavours to empower a group shunned by society and stigmatised even by their families.
  • Kinetic Engineering Limited: In collaboration with the Pune District Leprosy Centre, the organisation is rehabilitating leprosy-affected people at its factory outlet in Ahmednagar.

The NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awards were instituted in 1999 by NCPEDP with the cooperation and support of Shell India Private Limited. The awards honour the commitment of those individuals and organisations who have contributed to, and opened avenues for, the employment of disabled persons.

Over the years, the Helen Keller Awards have gained in prominence and credibility. The number of nominations has also gone up substantially, indicating the increased efforts of people and organisations in creating equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. This year, too, a number of nominations were received.

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