The 19th NCPEDP- Mindtree Helen Keller Awards of 2018 took place at the India International Centre Auditorium. The Awards were given away to twelve exceptional individuals and organizations who are role models in furthering employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
In their nineteenth year now, the Awards have, over the years, emerged as a credible way to map the progress being made year by year towards greater dignity and empowerment of India’s 70 million disabled citizens.
This year, twelve awards have been announced under three different categories. Speaking at the occasion, Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP said “It is so heartening to see the kind of applications we have received this year. Typically most applications received are from the IT industry and this year it was refreshing to see that most applications received were from organisations and people working in the retail sector. We do look forward to seeing this work percolate to smaller towns and even villages”.
Congratulating the Awardees, the Chief Guest on this occasion, Dr Satya Pal Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development said “It is so heartening to be here today and learn about the amazing work being done for and by people with disabilities. All that is required is some support and equal opportunities. In my capacity as Minister for Higher Education I commit all my support to ensure accessibility, in all respects across all our institutes of higher education, so that more and more people with disabilities will break the glass ceiling as employees, employers and entrepreneurs.”
Giving an acceptance speech on behalf of all Awardees, Mr. Shishir Rambhau Gorle, Founder, SquareMeal Foods Pvt Limited reiterated that “disability is rarely the challenge - people are disabled due to a hostile environment around them and that is the change we hope to bring about”.
Speaking on this occasion, N. S. Parthasarthy, Executive Vice Chairman and COO, Mindtree Limited said, “The visibility brought about by these awards is very encouraging and more importantly, this is the result of more organizations changing their attitudes and perceptions on having people with disabilities as part of their workforce – though more needs to be done. We congratulate all the Awardees and also NCPEDP for this very unique initiative to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.”