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The 10th CavinKare ABILITY Awards 2012

Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall 
Harrington Road, Chennai

Dr. Mohini Giri – Chairperson, Guild of Service
Dr. A. R. Rahman – Music Director
Ms. Leela Samson – Director, Kalakshetra Foundation & Chairperson,Central Board of Film Certification 
Mr. Radha Mohan – Filmmaker
Mr. N. Murali – Director, The Hindu
Yatish Rajawat – Group Editor, Dainik Bhaskar Group

Guest of Honor:
Mr. Mukul Wasnik – Honourable Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment

The event...
The 10th CavinKare Ability Awards at the Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao concert hall was a star-spangled event that saw some of Chennai’s glitterati enjoying the evening. This was an extra special awards ceremony as it celebrated the tenth anniversary of the institution of the awards.

Other than awarding the recipients, the evening was further highlighted by a glittering inclusive cultural show – two troupes – one from Sri Lanka… the nATanda dance theatre, comprising awe-inspiring hearing impaired and hearing dancers and the Articulate India troupe which performed lively seen-to-be-believed dance items with visually impaired dancers dancing to perfection.

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The Awardees


CavinKare ABILITY Award for Eminence:

Mohammad Iqbal, Leh-Ladakh In the stark terrain of Ladakh is an organization that has been doing remarkable work in awareness and capacity building for persons with disability. Through the People’s Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR), Mohammad Iqbal has been working relentlessly for years to ensure economic and social empowerment of persons with disabilities in the Leh district. He has also tied up with various travel ventures in order to make the scenic town barrier-free, and works actively in preserving the environment. His severe orthopedic disability is belied by his passion to promote rights and participation of disabled persons, making him a force to reckon with.

The CavinKare ABILITY Mastery Awards:

Bhavana Botta, Chennai, Tamil Nadu In an extraordinary story of inclusion, Bhavana Botta, a young girl with athetoid cerebral palsy (due to which she can neither speak, nor walk) has completed her schooling and B.Com in Corporate Secretaryship in mainstream educational institutions. Today, she runs her own entrepreneurial venture known as ‘Saahaagika’, a boutique for Ahimsa and Organic silk products. From managing the accounts to banking and paying taxes, Bhavana insists on doing everything on her own. In order to communicate, she uses a unique eye-pointing chart and is the first person in Tamil Nadu, and possibly India, to have written exams with this form of communication. For her, it is the attitude that determines inclusion, not a disability.

Azeem Bolar,  Bangalore, Karnataka It takes a lot of optimism and strength of the mind to come to terms with a disability. But for Azeem Bolar, it has taken twice the amount of strength to reach where he is today. Already battling with deteriorating vision as a result of juvenile arthritis, Azeem had to change his career from a successful hotelier to a counselor, when a stroke rendered him completely blind and paralyzed in the left side of his body. Undeterred, Azeem has fought every battle with a remarkably optimistic attitude, teaching himself how to walk, talk and write, all over again. Today, he is a much sought-after counselor in a software firm in Bangalore. He also provides free counseling services at the very centre he trained from, instilling optimism in many more people every day.

Riitesh Sinha, Karnal, Haryana From the boy who was refused admission in most schools in his town, to a person who has shaped many careers in the field of computer science, Riitesh Sinha has proven that mental strength can win over any physical disability. Born with cerebral palsy in a town that was largely ignorant of his condition, Riitesh began a computer training centre in order to teach the basics of computers to many. Initially, doubts arose about his ability to teach, but his passion for the subject and dedication to teach, won him many students who still regard him as an excellent teacher. He also empowered himself by building a motorized vehicle that would help in his mobility. Today, Riitesh works in a government job but is still sought after by his colleagues to resolve all technology-related issues at work. In his spare time, he pursues philately, numerology and mudras passionately.

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