New Delhi: The winners of the 10th NCPEDP Mphasis Universal Design Award were awarded in the capital today at the hands of Rama Devi, sitting Member of Parliament and Dy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
The Javed Abidi Public Policy Award was given to Smitha Santhakumari Sadasivan, who has been consulting with Election Commission of India on accessible electoral process for all citizens with disabilities, collaborating with Public Works Department (PWD) etc.
A special Jury Award was given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, for its pioneering work in making television accessible to people with hearing disability. Working closely with representatives of disability sector and experts in the area of accessibility; the Ministry has developed a robust policy to make television accessible using sign language and closed captioning.
Accepting the award, Amit Khare, Secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said, “I’d like to acknowledge the work of Supriya Sahu, DG of Doordarshan and Atul Tiwari additional secretary towards this award. We have started streaming some programs on DD Bharati with ISL for deaf. The next goal is to work our standards for the visually impaired. Also, public and private broadcasters must have the same standards, and these must be an example for the rest of the world.”
Presiding over the event, Member of Parliament Rama Devi said “I congratulate the winners. I would like to add sabka vishwas to sabka saath, sabka vikas, the ideology that PM Modi has always spoken about. Our PwDs must be encouraged; thats why I’m here. We have to change the paradigm- parents must not feel sorry for giving birth to a child with disability. We have to ensure they have access to independence and livelihoods. I want to encourage initiatives like the Universal Design Awards.”
The event began in memory of Prof. Shamnad Basheer, an Indian legal scholar who passed away on 8th August 2019. His work on increasing diversity by increasing access to legal education (IDIA) for persons with disabilities was appreciated at the event.
Arman Ali addressed the gathering and said, “ without accessibility, inclusion is impossible. Some of the ideas that have won this year are so futuristic that it gives us hope. We need to take the message to smaller towns and districts, that accessibility is beyond just building a ramp.”
Nipun OS, AVP Corp Social Responsibility of Mphasis added “we must scale up the innovations that have emerged today so that a large number of persons with disabilities can benefit.”