CavinKare Ability Awards for achievers with disabilities

MUMBAI: The CavinKare Ability Awards ceremony recognized and honoured three people who have done just that.

A press release states that this 'one of a kind' award has been instituted to celebrate the outstanding achievements of a few disabled people who have proved that disability is all in the mind and one can achieve anything through determination and commitment.

An eminent jury selected the winners from a short-listed 13 after the meticulous evaluation of about 170 applicants. The panel of judges included Javed Akhtar, Maniratnam, N Vittal, Mohini Giri and Jayshree Ravindran. Justice A.S Anand, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, presented the Awards at an award ceremony on 16 March 2003.

The winners were: Naseema Mohamed Amin Hurzuk from Kohlapur was honored with the CavinKare Ability Award for Eminence for her contribution to the disabled community through her NGO, "Helpers of The Handicapped". A paraplegic from the age of 16, she is the role model and icon for many like her who nurture the dream of living a normal, independent life in main stream society, says a release.

Through her organization, Naseema has rehabilitated over 8,000 physically handicapped children with medical aid and vocational training. Among other activities, she runs an integrated school, hostel and cooperative credit society, adds the release.

The release says that Buse Gowda, the first blind person to learn classical dance, was one of the recipients of the CavinKare Ability Mastery Award. He is now part of a dance troupe called Natyanjalliand has given over a thousand dance performances, both in India and abroad. In 1996, he was the first blind person to successfully complete a two-hour 'ranga pravesham'. Hailing from Bangalore, he also runs his own travel agency.

The release also states Pradeep Sinha, a deaf-blind person from Mumbai, was the other awardee for the CavinKare Ability Mastery Award. For one who can neither hear, speak nor see, he has come a long way to become an assistant at a Braille press and a trained masseuse. He even trains other handicapped children at the Braille press. He is proficient with the computer, lives independently and commutes everyday by bus to his place of work all alone.

The release says that each life story was indeed a window to the daily battles faced by persons with disabilities and how these can be overcome. Their accomplishments have been particularly noteworthy and of inestimable value and have set a fine example to the entire public domain. The winners have demonstrated what others could wish to emulate. Choosing realistic career options, enjoying healthy lifestyles and leading normal lives to make them more that just a face in the crowd.

The release also adds that CavinKare, a consumer products company, along with Ability Foundation, an NGO working to integrate persons with disability into main stream society, have instituted these awards in association with The New Indian Express Group of Publications and EventXpress, a frontline event management firm, to celebrate the exemplary spirit of that rare breed of individuals who have risen above their disabilities and displayed that attitude is everything.

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