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“Most of the time, extraordinary people who are doing extraordinary things get lost,” Ashutosh

18 people from the disability sector were given the I.B.N.7. Bajaj Allianz Super Idols Award in Mumbai on January 19. It is the first time that an Indian media organization has announced awards meant specifically for disabled people. This initiative is perhaps indicative of the changing mindset within the media world. In an interview with Ashutosh, Managing Editor, I.B.N.7., D.N.I.S. discovers the idea behind the award and much more.

D.N.I.S.: The I.B.N.7. Bajaj Allianz Super Idols Award is an excellent initiative. How did this come about? What sparked this idea?

Ashutosh: As a T.V. channel, we realised that there is lot of negativity in news coverage. News hinges upon people from politics and powerful sections of society, and most of the time extraordinary people who are doing extraordinary things get lost. As a channel committed to responsible journalism, we thought it is time to break from the stereotypes and recognise those extraordinary people with special abilities who are doing extraordinary work in the social realm. Such people can be a great source of inspiration. It is this thought which provoked us to start thinking and which finally led to the setting up of this award.

D.N.I.S.: Awardees were selected from different parts of the country. How and on what basis were they identified for the award?

Ashutosh: Impact of their work, truly inspirational work, and work which is not simply individualistic was the biggest criteria. We wanted to select people who can be torch bearers for the rest of the society.

D.N.I.S.: The award is a piece of good news for the disability sector. Will this be a yearly event?

Ashutosh: Yes, we are trying to make it a yearly event.

D.N.I.S.: Medias reportage on disability issues still borders on charity. Is the Indian media starting to move over the stereotype vis-a-vis disability?

Ashutosh: Unfortunately, we as a society have to move much more. A lot of things need to be done to break the stereotype image of people with disabilities. But yes, society is moving, perception is also changing, and this process is very slow.