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CavinKare ABILITY Awards 2010

Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall 
(Inside Lady Andal School Campus), Chennai

Dr. Mohini Giri - Chairperson, Guild of Service
Dr.V.Krishnamurthy - Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council
Mr. Radhamohan - Film Director
Mr. Shravan Garg - Group Editor, Bhaskar Group
Ms.Kanimozhi - Member of Parliament

Chief Guest:
Shri.Mukul Wasnik - Hon. Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment,
Govt. of India

Guest of Honor:
Mr.N.Murali - Managing Director, The Hindu

The event...
The Awards function of the CavinKare Ability Achievers with Disability is always a memorable evening. On the one side are the recipients of the awards who are an inspiration by themselves, evoking emotional responses from the audience. On the other hand, is the cultural component too, into which so much thinking and planning goes, that is very exceptional and exclusive each year, and not only serves to entertain but also to defy stereotyped preconceptions of disability people with disabilities themselves.
This year was no exception. There was an cultural extravaganza of dance, music and art… all of which underlined the spirit of inclusion. The melodious prayer by Anooradha Sriram set the tone for the evening. Then began the colourful and vivacious Yakshagana dance of Karnataka performed by the Articulate India dance troupe of visual impaired dancers from Bangalore. Following this was the vibrant, foot tapping song titled ‘A celebration of life’ composed for the occasion by well-known playback singer Srinivas with the words composed by well-known lyricist Thamarai and sung by a group of 30 gifted singers with and without disabilities and signed in Indian Sign Language as well. Next the graceful Sufi dance was performed by wheelchair users from Ability Unlimited, New Delhi. Finally came the convergence of music and art by Sriram Parasuram and artists Jacob Jebaraj and Sheela painting to the mood of the music. Each and every presentation was singularly beautiful, reaffirming the fact that talent transcends disability. The thunderous applause that followed each item from the packed hall and the sense of admiration mingled with disbelief when they realized that these scintillating performances were by people with disabilities… for us as organizers, it was the very reason to exist.
As each of the cultural events then came to a dramatic close, the awardees films were shown and the recipients of the awards were introduced. This went on to the awarding ceremony when dignitaries were called up on stage to give the recipients their citations, cheques and trophies… all of which came to an end on a solemn note as the master of ceremonies of the evening Revathy called for the national anthem to be sung by everyone present.

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The Awardees

CavinKare ABILITY Award for Eminence:

VEDANTAM SADA SIVA MURTHY (Palakol, Andhra Pradesh) Murthy lost both his legs in a train accident twenty eight years ago. With the facilities he had access to, he was able to get back on his feet albeit with great difficulty. He deeply understood the pain of losing a limb and  wanted others to have access to facilities that he had had. Thus was born the 'Chaitanya Artificial Limb Centre' at Palakol, near Rajahmundry, with the aim of providing both physical and psychological rehabilitation for everyone. He believes that positive thinking can bring about total transformation in one's approach to life. With fierce determination and optimism, he has till today, helped over 600 patients begin a new life. An agriculturalist by profession he has also adopted his own village Abbirajupalem and lobbied for its development.  

The CavinKare ABILITY Mastery Awards:

PUJA SUBRAMANIAM (Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh) Puja Subramaniam's story is exemplary and exceptional in every sense of the word. At age 12, Puja was diagnosed with a progressive neuromuscular disorder named Charcot-Marie-Tooth. The nature of this disorder is such that it constantly and unpredictably leads to new difficulties in mobility. This in no way deterred Puja. Accepting fresh challenges not just disability related ones but also as a woman with disability, she effectively countered all stumbling blocks and completed her post-graduation. Fighting her way with courage and conviction, she established an engineering consultancy company – 'Bolster Engineering Solutions', which requires that she not only works hard at her job but also needs to persuade her clients to have faith in her ability to deliver.

BAJRANG LAL SUTHAR (Bikaner, Rajasthan) Bajrang Lal had a paralytic attack that rendered him paralysed neck-down. In an economically backward family where he and his father were the sole breadwinners, this meant loss of livelihood and complete dependence on his aged parents. He seemed to have reached a point of no return when his mentor's inspiring words transformed his life. Using the sensation that he had in two fingers of his left hand, Bajrang began writing a couple of lines a day. Four years later, he discovered he could paint too. Thus began his artistic voyage of self-discovery. His confidence acquired a boost when he discovered that his paintings could be sold and some semblance of economic independence reached. Two exhibitions later, there is no looking back for Bajrang Lal who today looks at life with renewed hopes and vitality.

ZAMIR DHALE (Ahmedabad, Gujarat) Think of Helen Keller. Think of Rani Mukherjee's character in “Black”. That's Zamir Dhale for you. Zamir Dhale is deafblind. Proof to all that's said about allowing nothing to come between one's capabilities and ones dreams towards achievement. And yes… he was the one who worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali towards sensitising everyone in the unit about deafblindness. Living every moment of life to the fullest, as an advocacy officer at Sense International (India), Ahmedabad, he is also a loving husband, a doting father and a vociferous activist who has travelled extensively in India and overseas, presenting papers at conferences in tactile sign language to create awareness about the needs and rights of deafblind people.

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