Mangalore : Daijiworld weeky, on the occasion of its 5th anniversary has announced the names of seven persons, who are differently abled, yet, achievers in their respective field. They will receive the prestigious Swibhiman Award on June 18, 2014 at 10 am at the Town Hall in Mangalore.
Justice Santosh Hegde, former Lokayukta of Karnataka Government accompanied by Yenepoya Abdulla Kunhi, chancellor Yenepoya University, Leo Rodrigues, NRI Enterprenuer and philanthropist and V P Lobo, Chairman and MD of T3 Urban Developers Ltd will present the awards.
Each award consists of a cash reward of Rs 25,000, a memento and a citation.
15 names were shortlisted by daijiworld weekly out of nominations received by them. The nominations were then scrutinized by a Jury, consisting of Shri Basti Vaman Shenoy, a social activist and president of World Konkani Center, Shri Ronald Anil Fernandes, Bureau Chief of Deccan Herald, English Daily, Shri Vasant Kumar Shetty, founder and principal of Saanidhya Residential School for Special Children and Smt. Shahanaz M. – editor of Anupama Magazine for Women. Shri William Pais of Orchid Art Gallery was the chief coordinator.
The team after having reviewed the merits of each candidate and having visited their place of residence has recommended the names of following seven winners: (in alphabetical order)
Anjana Devi, Ujire – Self dependent and Self-confident
Anjana Devi lost her mobility to polio when she was just three years old. Much earlier she had lost her dear mother when she was just ten months old. Although her father, Manjunath Prabhu provided her with both safety and paternity, she had her own struggle to fight back. Ever since, Anjana struggled with an innocent smile, only to come out triumphant in her long march.
After passing her SSLC examination, she was encouraged to other vocational training to become self-reliant. She refused to accept disability pension, and took her case to the Tashildar to organize health camps for the physically disabled like her. Ever since she is arranging ID cards for the disabled through which people like her can avail facilities provided by the govt and NGO organizations. She has started a self help group for the disabled which meets every 15 days, and they share problems and challenges faced by the fraternity. They together try to give the ray of hope to the distressed world. Anjana Devi believes that if one door gets closed, it also opens ten other doors for the real seeker.
Calistus D’Sa, Mangalore – Being a Lamp in a Darkened World
Calistus D’Sa, is the principal of Roman and Catherine Lobo School for the Blind. He himself, is visually impaired, but he is ably guiding many visually impaired children onto the path of seeing the light. He was educated in the Devine Light School for the Blind in Bangalore. He went on to do his masters in St Xavier College Mumbai and also served as lecturer in Mumbai.
Calistus puts forward his view on disability rather emphatically, being disabled of course has its set of problems but it should be by no means should be a deterrent to the path of success. “Disabled do not need charity but they need opportunity” he says with a smile. He stressed the need for change in community’s attitude towards the disabled, which will pave the way for changing the government response for the differently-abled.
Well qualified and well mannered Calistus serves as a beacon of hope, in an otherwise darkened world. He teaches, encourages, and guides the young minds to an enlightened vision of the world.
Hameed and Lathif Brothers, Ujire – Ray of Hope despite being visually impaired
Hameed and Latif are brothers living in a remote village in Machar near Ujire in Belthangady. They not only shared the blood but also shared a common disability of being visually impaired. Hailing from a poor Muslim family dealing with this disability was an added burden that could not be handled. Non-plastered mud walls and floors speak volumes about their sorry state of affairs.
Besides being at the flipside, both the brothers have come out courageous, kind and generous. Despite being visually impaired, they help other disabled in their locality to get to know about the different government schemes and help them get identity cards. The rural illiterate and disabled have benefited by their service.
Both Hameed and Lathif wait for long hours outside government offices on behalf other disabled, irrespective of their caste, creed or language. This is perfect picture of solidarity and secular mind set which should be learnt by all.
Jagadish Poojary, Adyar Padavu Mangalore – Building life with extra zeal.
Jagadish Poojary’s house at Merlapadav, a village on the outskirts of Mangalore, is completely a misnomer to his list of achievements in various competitions in body building. The two room house with barely few necessities stares at us and raises a question as to how can someone rise to the level of achievement, let alone the disabled. The numerous awards and trophies won by him hardly have any display space in the house, not even a decent cupboard.
Despite of odds and lack of facilities, Jagadish had the will to excel in sports and saw it to that body building gave him the platform to excel. He rose from district level to the national level, got felicitated by chief minsters and other dignitaries, but his poverty level stayed arrogantly where it is, in which he is living with his parents and a sister, helplessly.
Jagadish works at Sahyadri Institute of Technology, as a trainer in multi Gymnasium in the campus, and conveys the message to the strong and healthy students that if a polio stricken person can become the Body Builder, why shoudn’t they try their hand at physical training. And it works according to him. He is the true example of how disability could be overcome with strong will and resolution.
Neha Rai, Puttur – A Ton of Confidence Behind a Veil of Disability
Neha Rai by birth is a victim of what is known medically as “Severe Kypho Scoliosis”. Her limbs lost their purpose to stand up and be counted. Life stared at Neha with its ugly face, testing her ware- withal to stand its scrutiny. In this tussle Neha, came out winning, beating every challenge successfully. She just completed her graduation in what could be said “miserable state” by a normal person. But it was not so for Neha, as she dissected the mystery of her misery head on.
She is the only offspring to her parents- Venugopal and Nayana Rai and the trio triumphed in putting life on track. She consistently maintained brilliant academic performance throughout. At schools, though she was faced with unwelcome gestures initially, soon became the favourite student of her teachers and a loveable friend to her classmates. Excelling in extracurricular activities, she wrote poems, played chess, won prizes in English and Hindi elocutions and drawing.
Neha Rai wants to pursue her post graduation in commerce and become a bank officer. Her relentless hard work encouraged by her parents stands as true example of how to deal with disability. Nayana Rai also intends to start a Trust for the help of disabled and giving them crucial help.
Sabita Monis, Belthangady – Deformity is no deterrence
Absence of hands was never an impediment to her spirits in making up with the abled. Sabita Monis, hailing from remote and rural village Belthangady of Dakshina Kannada district, had to walk one and half mile to her education. A postgraduate in Social work she works as a student welfare officer at Alva’s Educational Institutions.
The genetic deformity took away her hands, coming in the way of her leading a normal life. Supported by siblings at the tender age, Sabita managed to write using her feet, as if it were her hands. Today she manages almost all tasks using her feet. Every day, she writes for 20 Kms to reach her work place, attending to the hues and cries of a variety of varied complaints from students arriving from different parts of India. Sabita’s parents – Basil and Benedict Monis may heave a sigh of relief after years of struggle to put their daughter on normal course, as she is independent with most of her tasks. Today, Sabita stands as a shining example to those with disability, of how it can be converted into ability, that it is no deterrent to success.
In the press meet: Hemacharya, editor in chief, daijiworld weekly, William Pais, Chief coordinator, Swabhiman Awards, Basti Vaman Shenoy, Ronald Anil Fernandes, Vasant Kumar Shetty and Shahanaz M.