The 15th CAVINKARE ABILITY AWARDS 2017
Location: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall
Harrington Road, Chennai
Dr.Mariazeena Johnson- Pro-Chancellor, Sathyabama University
Mr Harish Lakshman- Managing Director, Rane Group
Ms AlarmelValli- Classical Dancer & Padma Bhushan Awardee
Mr P.N. Vasudevan- Managing Director, Equitas Holdings Ltd.
Dr.Priya Selvaraj- Assistant Director, G.G.Hospitals
Ms Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush- Filmmaker & Author
CavinKare Pvt. Ltd. and Ability Foundation together organised the 15th CAVINKARE ABILITY Awards, 2017 at Sri Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Auditorium, Chetpet, Chennai. These prestigious, one-of-a-kind awards recognize and celebrate the achievements and triumphs of persons with disabilities. Today, 6 remarkable achievers from across the county were applauded in a grand event amidst the gracious presence of several eminent personalities, celebrities and successful social entrepreneurs.Special recognition award was given to Divyanshu Ganatra, who set up the ‘Adventure Beyond Barriers’ Foundation. He was joined on stage with Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta, K. Suguna, Pooja Gupta and Jaskaran Singh who each received a mastery award, and K. Murugasamy, who established The Tirupur School for the Deaf received the award for eminence.
The programme was a scintillating mix of inclusive music and dance. Members of the Chandigarh-based inclusive dance troupe Rising Star Disable Youth Club presented an energetic bhangra. Fusions of Latin-American dances were presented by Bangalore duo Briju Mohan and RachanaThimaiah. The inclusive band from Mumbai, Pehli Baarish, led by musician and social activist Ritika Sahni entertained the audience with soulful music. The song Garv Se Jiyenge Hum (We will live with dignity) by Shankar Mahadevan Music Academy was presented with sign language and subtitles.
CAVINKARE ABILITY Special Recognition Award:
His adventurous exploits are legendary...and so too his professional achievements. Clinical psychologist, adventure sports buff and entrepreneur, Divyanshu Ganatra is the Managing Partner of ‘Yellow Brick Road’ that works in the fields of corporate training and counselling. He is the first blind person in the country to do solo-paragliding; he is a mountaineer and scuba diver as well. He is also perhaps India's first visually impaired person to complete a tandem bicycle expedition from Manali to Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world. Divyanshu has set up ‘Adventure Beyond Barriers Foundation’ to promote adventure sports among persons with disabilities.
CAVINKARE ABILITY Award for Eminence:
From his humble origins in a village in Tirupur, he now stands tall as an icon of society. The founder of ‘Tirupur District Sports Association for the Deaf’, K. Murugasamy has been training scores of deaf youngsters in sports, facilitating their participation in district, state and national level meets, and getting them access to various governmental welfare schemes. Deaf, without speech himself, he founded the ‘Tirupur School for the Deaf’ that provides free education in Tamil and English medium streams to deaf children. It focuses on speech therapy, language skills, lip reading and hearing improvement, thus empowering generations of youngsters in carving out great personal and professional lives for themselves.
CAVINKARE ABILITY Mastery Awards:
Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta
This amazing multi-faceted young man is a graphic designer, singer, composer, motivational speaker and the author of ‘My Life, My Love, My Dear’ a book that has been translated into Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati and Hindi. Despite the limitations posed by osteogenesis imperfecta, and the resultant brittle bones, Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta radiates positivity. He moves around using an electronic wheelchair. He executes his graphic design work flawlessly, managing with just his two mobile fingers to operate a mouse to type on a virtual on-screen keyboard. Not content still, this young man wishes to raise awareness on accessibility across the country.
A gutsy woman with a ready smile and positive outlook, she has been lighting up the lives of many young students at the Mahindra World School. Despite acquiring B.A. and B.Ed. degrees, Suguna was forced to continue selling peanut candies for a livelihood, since the schools she approached had not been willing to look beyond her visual impairment. And finally she found an empathetic employer in Mahindra World School. Suguna now eyes further laurels towards a more dynamic life.
Despite the plethora of challenges brought forth by Ataxia – a progressive condition that curtails her leg movement, muscle coordination, speech, throat and eye movements, this young woman became the first in her college to clear the National Eligibility Test (NET) and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) test. Pooja Gupta also cleared various bank exams and was recruited into Punjab National Bank, where she is praised as a highly productive and capable professional. She is the sole bread-winner of her large family and dreams of becoming an IAS officer someday.
made it to the prestigious IIM-Bangalore with a CAT score of 99.4 percentile, rising like a phoenix after a devastating car crash in 2012 in which he lost his entire family. He himself was rendered a quadriplegic, with no control over his limbs, fingers, bowels, bladder, and body temperature. Having to deal with emotional scars as well as physical ones, he continues on his way up towards a magnificent life. Meeting all problems head on, he is not only a top notch student of IIM Bangalore, but also the student representative of its Office of Disabled Services (ODS) committee and Vikasana – Teach to Transform programme.