Mangalore : On the occasion of fifth anniversary of daijiworld weekly, seven differently abled achievers of the district were fittingly honoured with Swabhiman awards, at a glittering solemn celebration at Town Hall June 18 fore noon. The 7 include Anjana Devi- Ujire, Calistus D’Sa – Mangalore, Hameed and Lathif (brothers) – Ujire, Jagadish Poojary – Adyar Padavu in Mangalore, Neha Rai – Puttur and Sabitha Monis – Belthangady.
Former Lokayukta Justice N Santhosh Hegde was chief guest for the occasion. Yenepoya University Chancellor Abdullah Kunhi, Entrepreneurs Leo Rodrigues and VP Lobo the guests of honour.
The occasion was graced by a distinguished audience of socially conscious citizens, writers, journos and students of special centers. An admirable dance on nature was rendered by a well trained group from Saanidhya’ residential school of differently abled children, a traditional welcome dance cheered t he audience. Each awardee was given a traditional felicitation on the stage and a gift cheque for Rs.25000.
Briefs on the Awardees:
Anjana Devi, a polio when she was just three years old she lost mobility. She had also lost her mother much earlier, when she was 10 months old. With the support of her father Manjunath Prabhu, she passed SSLC. She has been organising health camps for the physically disabled like her. She has also arranged ID cards for the disabled so that they can avail facilities provided by the government and NGOs. She has started SHGs for physically disabled. She has made her self mobile with a special electric wheel chair and motivates the physically challenged.
Calistus D’Sa, the principal of Roman and Catherine Lobo School for the Blind. Though he himself is visually impaired, he is ably guiding many visually impaired children onto the path of seeing the light. “Disabled do not need charity but they need opportunity,” says D’Sa. Well qualified and well mannered Calistus serves as a beacon of hope, in an otherwise darkened world. He is keen that the Govt. must come forward to give due support to challenged people.
Hameed and Lathif brothers, live in a remote village called Machar near Ujire of Belthangady taluk. The brothers from a poor Muslim family share a common disability of being visually impaired. However, they help others in their locality to get to know about the different government schemes. They help people get ID cards. Irrespective of caste, creed or language, these brothers spend hours at government offices for the purpose. They are moving forward without self pity even though poor.
Jagadish Poojary works at Sahyadri Institute of Technology as a trainer in multi-gymnasium in the campus, and conveys the message to the young healthy students that if a polio stricken person can become a body builder, why should not they try their hand at physical training.
Neha Rai, a victim of what is known medically as ‘Severe Kypho Scoliosis’ her legs below the waist are life less. Neha emerged a winner gracefully over coming the challenge, with dedicated constant support of her parents. She excelled both in education and extracurricular activities like writing poems, chess, elocution and drawing. Neha wants to pursue her PG in commerce and become a bank officer. She is indeed endowed with a determined character.
Absence of hands, totally was never a handicap to her spirits in competing with the best for Sabita Monis, who hails from a remote village of Belthangady taluk. She had to walk one and half mile for her educational needs. After her post graduation in Social work (MSW), she works as a Student Welfare Officer at Alva’s Education Institutions. She uses her feet to write and for almost all tasks. She travels 25 km every day for her work place.
William Pais, Head of the Jury said that the daijiworld editorial board had selected 15 applications and submitted it to the Jury. “The Jury consisting of six members including World Konkani Kendra President Basti Vamana Shenoy, Deccan Herald Mangalore Bureau Chief Ronald Anil Fernandes, ‘Saanidhya’ residential school Principal Vasanth Kumar Shetty, ‘Anupama’ Editor Shehanaz M finalised the awardees considering their extraordinary achievements,” he said.
Calistus D’Sa, the principal of Roman and Catherine Lobo School for the Blind Mangalore speaking on behalf of the awrdees said that only a human indomitable spirit enabled physically challenged people to over come their handicaps and be leaders of society like this. He requested people not to pity such people but to give them opportunities to contribute in their own ways. The Govts and people must support the challenged in the best ways possible and there is much to be done he added.