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NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awards announced

DNIS News Network National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) has announced the winners of NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awards 2003.

Subodh Bhargava, trustee of NCPEDP and former president of CII, chaired a high level sub-committee. Eminent people like Pradeep Gupta from Cyber Media India Ltd, Shailaja D Sharma from Shell India Pvt Ltd, Ashok Verma from Hemophilia Federation and Alana Officer from Handicap International selected the awardees out of 102 nominations.

Under category A, which is for persons with disability who have been active as ambassadors to the cause of employment for disabled people and are a positive role model for others, three awards were given.

The awardees are Jawaharlal Kaul, chief executive officer of All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB), Nara Nageshwar Rao, general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Unemployed Disabled Welfare Association (APUDWA) and Vivek Kumar Agarwal, state commissioner disability, Government of Chattisgarh.

Under category B, which is for disabled persons from outside the field of disability who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people and are a positive role model for others, two awards are given.

The recipients of the award are Atul Desai, managing director of IAG Consultants Pvt Ltd and Subhash Dhavale, chief operating officer of ICICI Securities and Finance Company Ltd.

Under category C, which is for 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, two awards are given.

The awardees are Ram Dayal Sharma, senior carpenter with Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI) and Sushila Bohra, founder president of Netraheen Vikas Sansthaan.

Under category D, which is for non-disabled individuals outside the disability sector who have actively promoted the cause of employment for persons with disabilities, two awards are given.

The awardees are Colin Gonsalves, convener of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and Papiya Sarkar, senior architect with Ministry of External Affairs.

Under category E, which is for companies or organisations or institutions that have promoted the cause of employment, through their policies and practices and demonstrated their belief in equal rights and gainful employment for persons with disabilities, three awards are given.

The awardees are Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), M/s Sharayu Precision and Family of Disabled.

NCPEDP felt it necessary to recognise those who were willing to look beyond disabilities in hiring employees when its research revealed that public sector, private sector and multinational corporations only employed 0.54, 0.28 and 0.05 per cent people with disabilities, respectively.

This was a shocking revelation, since corporate organisations are capable of providing employment to a large number of disabled people.

Helen Keller Awards were instituted by NCPEDP with the support of Shell India Pvt Ltd in 1999 to honour those people and organisations that have contributed to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for disabled people.