Dr. Reddy's Foundation, from Hyderabad bags the 19th NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2018

Dr. Reddy

The Awards were given away to twelve exceptional individuals and organizations who are role models in furthering employment opportunities for persons with disabilities

The Awards were given away to twelve exceptional individuals and organizations who are role models in furthering employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Delhi: The NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards recognise and celebrate the good work done by corporates and individuals towards promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities in India.

At a solemn function in the capital, Dr Satyapal Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development – Higher Education, Government of India, presided over the same. The NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards have become a coveted and prestigious benchmark for inclusion; and have seen more and more entries coming in over the last 19 years.

Addressing the audience, the Hon’ble Minister said, “persons with disabilities require real empowerment through the right kind of education and suitable employment for them. The present government, this work is the no.1 priority , as only 1% get to go to schools.”

The Minister added that even though the RPWD Act calls for 4% reservation for PwDs, the government is issuing 5% reservation in all educational institutions (IIM, IIT).

Welcoming the Hon’ble Minister, Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP said,"If we provide equal opportunities and reasonable accommodation, all jobs are suitable for persons with disabilities. Yes, it is true that everybody can't do everything; but we know of autistic persons involved in software testing.Understanding the heights of achievement that persons with disabilities can reach, requires a mindset change.”

Arman Ali also brought to light concerns such as lack of data, and how census 2021 would be crucial to obtaining the same. Recognising that the IT industry employs 1% staff from the disability sector which is much more than other sectors, and that NASSCOM companies should work with those who build affordable technology. With little innovation every phone can become a hearing aid. Such progressive thinking is needed to fundamentally change the outlook towards employment of persons with disabilities.

The NCPEDP Mindtree Helen Keller Awardees include

CATEGORY A: Disabled persons from within the disability sector and outside who have been active as ambassadors of the cause of employment for disabled people and are a positive role model for others.

  1. Mr Dawinder Singh, Proprietor, Sehdev Jewellers and GemLab Laboratories; Director, iBerry Wireless Pvt. Ltd. And Venus Enterprises; and CEO, WebTecz.com
  2. Mr Moses Chowdari Gorrepati, Program Manager, Enable India
  3. Mr Naveen Ravindranath, Executive, Issue Retrieval Centre, IT Asset Management, DellEMC
  4. Ms Tiffany Brar, Founder, Jyothirgamaya Foundation

CATEGORY B: Individuals from within the disability sector or outside who have contributed substantially to the cause of promoting employment opportunities for disabled people over an extended period of time.

  1. Ms Aradhana Lal, Vice President - Brand, Communications & Sustainability Initiatives, Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd.
  2. Mr B.S. Nagesh, Founder, Trust for Retailers & Retail Associates of India
  3. Mr. Yajurvendra Anil Mahajan, Founder & Executive Director, Deepstambh Foundation

CATEGORY C: Organisations from the disability sector or outside who have shown their commitment towards promoting equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

  1. Dr. Reddy's Foundation
  2. Square Meal FoodsPvt. Ltd.
  3. The Leprosy Mission Trust IndiaTrent Hypermarket Pvt. Ltd. (A TATA & TESCO Enterprise)
  4. Worth Trust

N.S. Parthasarathy, Executive Vice Chairman & Chief Operating Officer, Mindtree also shared his views. “This journey is a movement to build networks for employment. I strongly urge corporates that while you continue these activities through your CSRs, but please make it a mainstream agenda. Ensure that this topic gets discussed at the board level. You cannot continue this to be a fringe activity. The awardees today are path-breakers and providing continuous visibility to PwDs.”

It is well known that Miles Hilton-Barber, a Britisher flew half-way around the world at 57, even though he was completely blind. He navigated a microlight London to Australia using "talking" computer software.

The ceremony seemed to echo the thoughts of Helen Keller herself, an untiring visionary for persons with disabilities. “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has a sight and no vision,” she had said.

There was a handsome tribute paid to Javed Abidi, the founder of NCPEDP.

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