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18th CavinKare Ability Awards honours five exemplary achievers with disabilities from across the country

Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Harrington Road, Chennai

Jury:
Ms Lakshmy Ramakrishnan Film maker, Actor and Television Personality
Mr Suresh Balaje Film Producer
Mr Sriram Subramanya Founder, Managing Director & CEO, Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd
Mr Ishwar Achanta Hon Treasurer & Council Member, Indian Golf Union and Board Member, Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation
Ms Sharada Ramanathan Film Director & Writer

The event
February 15th 2020: In an effort to recognize and spotlight the achievements of some extraordinary people with disabilities, CavinKare and Ability Foundation jointly organized the 18th edition of the CavinKare Ability Awards in the city today. Held at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Auditorium, the awards function showcased exemplary success of five people with disabilities from across the country.

Challenging the status quo, five star achievers of this year, set an inspiring mood for the evening with their power packed deeds and speech. Enthralling the audience with their boundless energy and confidence, the outstanding awardees shared their life journey vividly. The evening ended on a high-note with both the recipients of the awards as well as the audience, leaving as inspired and empowered individuals.

The highlight for the evening was a fireside chat between actress & director, Revathi and Anindya Bhattacharyya, a global leader in the deaf & blind community


The Awardees

Anindya bhattacharyya

CavinKare Ability Special Recognition Award

Anindya Bhattacharyya, USA
A man of many hats, Anindya Bhattacharyya, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UALR, holds a full-time and consequential job as coordinator of the National Outreach Technology Development and Training Program at the Helen Keller National Center, NY, runs a digital online store, Bapin Group, and is the CEO of the company. An activist too, he played a major role in the passage of the United States’ 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Someone who was born in a small village in West Bengal and left completely deafblind early on in his childhood, Anindya overcame numerous trials and challenges and has grown to be an international leader of the deaf-blind community, an activist, a successful professional, a gutsy entrepreneur, a sports enthusiast, a keen cook and woodwork designer, popular with friends. And much more.



Swarnalatha

CavinKare Ability Award for Eminence

Swarnalatha. J Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Swarnalatha. J is the founder of the Swarga Charitable Trust, along with her husband Guruprasad.To Swarga goes the credit of creating accessible toilets in every platform of Indian Railways’Coimbatore Junction and 10 Government schools; making nine schools in Coimbatore wheelchair friendly; setting up Tamil Nadu’s first wheelchair accessible transportation service SARATHI, and  Sowkhya Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre that offers services free of cost to people with and without disabilities. This apart, mobility aids, medicines, and financial aid for hospitalization for girls and women with disabilities, and the inspirational ‘I’m Special’ calendar. At 29, Swarnalatha was diagnosed withmultiple sclerosis which rudely interrupted her soaring corporate career. She learned to cope with the intense pain and immobility caused by MS and reinvented herself to take on the world.



Adil

CavinKare Ability Mastery Awards

Adil Mohammed Nazir Ansari, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Adil Mohammed Nazir Ansari has two Limca records to his credit – one for the longest bike ride (300km) by a quadriplegic and another record for driving the Golden Quadrilateral on a modified car. He has won the National Archery Championship title three times and has represented India in para archery tournaments in China, the Czech Republic, Dubai and Netherlands. He has also bagged two gold medals in para swimming. Adil battled a spinal cord injury that left him paralysed neck down, multiple infections and a bed sore that lay bare the bone underneath it and emerged a top sportsman and a world record holder despite it all. He slowly learned to use the muscles that still worked and became as independent as possible.



Rakshitha

Rakshitha Raju, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Rakshitha Raju is the first Indian woman with blindness to have won gold medals in the track events at the Asian games 2018. She went on to win a Gold in the 1500m event at the Para Athletics Grand Prix in Paris (2018) and the Junior World Championship in Switzerland (2019). This trailblazing para athlete has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Having come so far despite having minimal vision in both eyes that lets her perceive only light and shadow, losing her parents as a four-year-old, and being born in a remote village in Karnataka, this 18-year-old makes us imbibe the belief that anything is possible. Grabbing opportunities that came her way, she has risen to become a top para athlete. Learning braille, she is also pursuing her education by self-study.



tinkesh

Tinkesh, Pune, Maharashtra

Tinkesh set a record when he bungee jumped from a height of 160m in Nepal and will be featured in the Limca Book of Records 2020 for this feat. He is an athlete, swimmer, para cyclist,marathoner, and a very effective fitness and wellness coach for persons with and without disabilities. Already certified in fitness and nutrition, he is pursuing a higher certification in the same. An electrical accident in his childhood and lack of good medical care left him a triple amputee with 90% disability – with no legs and just one arm. Without a trace of bitterness for this, his underprivileged background or the negativity that society viewed him with on becoming disabled, Tinkesh has risen to shine in his profession and passion, and lives and travels independently.





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