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CavinKare ABILITY Awards 2011

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

Jury:
Justice A.P. Shah – Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court
Dr.Mohini Giri – Chairperson, Guild of Service
Mr. N Murali – Sr. Managing Director, The Hindu 
Mr. Mani Ratnam – Film Maker
Mr. Aneil Mahajan – COO-Corporate Affairs, Bhaskar Group

Guests of Honor:
Major-General Sunil Kumar Razdan 
Dr. Ramachandra Guha – Writer and historian

The event...
The 9th CavinKare Ability Awards took place on the 19th of February 2011 in Chennai. As always the evening was inspirational and uplifting. The stars of the evening were Harman Singh Sidhu, Babli Gambhir, Varun Jain and Sujata Burla.
Following the opening prayer song by Ms Uma Ramanan, a short film on the previous years’ winners was screened. The dance performance by Astad Deboo and the street children from Salaam Balak Trust was truly poetry in motion. The amazing vocabulary in their movements was something that caught the spectators’ interest. The choreography was based on the Bhakti Rasa. The introduction of the winners was followed citations and the presentation of trophies and cheques.
The presence of Major General SK Razdan, India’s first and only officer of the Indian Army who had risen to the rank of Major General despite being a wheel chair user, as one of our chief guests was truly inspiring. Also, our well known writer and historian, Sri Ramachandra Guha, who was our special guest of the evening applauded the winners for their extra ordinary courage and will to fight many odds to become successful in their lives.


The Award Winners

CavinKare ABILITY Award for Eminence:

HARMAN SINGH SIDHU, CHANDIGARH Rather than be dejected and yield to a life of resigned acceptance or curse fate for an accident that left him paralysed neck below, Harman decided to look beyond himself and chose to save lives from road accidents. While lesser people might have taken to a life of retreat, Harman chose to establish an NGO “Arrive Safe" where the mission was to advocate policy level changes and create awareness on road safety. Today, Harman has become a spokesperson in most matters relating to road safety and has represented the country at international forums. Thanks to his determined and persistent efforts, several roads have become safer today and several traffic regulations have been brought about as well.

The CavinKare ABILITY Mastery Awards:

BABLI GAMBHIR, JAORA, MADHYA PRADESH Being shunned by public because of her short hands only made Babli more determined to excel in a field that required persistent and dexterous use of hands. Beauty services were what she chose to do ... confident that she would dispel stereotypes. They now call her the girl with the “golden hands ". A great triumph when one also considers the economically low background that she comes from. Turning a seeming "weakness" into her greatest "strength", today, she owns a most sought after beauty parlour in Jaora ... one that is acclaimed for its client services. What started as a small set-up is currently also an employment opportunity for other economically backward girls.

SUJATA BURLA, HYDERABAD, ANDHRA PRADESH TV anchor, woman entrepreneur as well as initiating her own NGO ... there are no full stops for Sujata Burla. With a story behind her that cannot be described briefly, Sujata can only be looked up to as a beauty with brains and an example to be emulated by everyone of us, not only as a successful businesswoman and a media person but also as a person with a heart of gold lending a helping hand to orphans with disabilities ... indeed, living up to her organisation's tagline, "Life beyond imagination."

VARUN JAIN, RISHIKESH, UTTARAKHAND Adventure... thy name is Varun. Becoming a wheelchair user at age twenty... when life was seemingly near perfect, his infallible never-say-die spirit of adventure, goaded him on to not just becoming financially independent but also move on to routes where "angels fear to tread" ... river rafting, mountaineering, kayaking, lonely road trips on a quad-bike... passions that set one's adrenalin rushing... and all these with a determined purpose too, to create awareness for accessible infrastructure and equal status for persons with disabilities. In his own words, "Adversity causes some people to breakdown and others to break records".

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