NCPEDP announces winners of NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2020; India’s most prestigious awards in accessibility for persons with disabilities
Without accessibility, inclusivity cannot become a reality’ says Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
NCPEDP highlights the need for making the census 2021 accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities
The winners of the 11th NCPEDP Mphasis Universal Design Award were awarded in a virtual ceremony on Monday September 28, 2020.
20 individuals and organisations were recognised for their pathbreaking work on promoting accessibility for persons with disabilities at this virtual ceremony of the NCPEDP Mphasis Unversal Design Awards that entered their second decade this year. Conceived in 2010 to create awareness about the principles of Universal Design and to encourage people to innovate and create products based on the same, the Awards were then expanded to include work that would lead to policy changes to promote accessibility for all and increase the mandate of the Awards to also increase access to services.
Speaking at the ceremony, Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mphasis said “Inclusion and Innovations are the key tenets, the pillars on which our support is based. The most important thing for us are the structural changes achieved through advocating for policies. You can always do the small sponsorships and small scale level interventions, but doing it at the structural or policy level has been a much more everlasting and solid contribution.”
Congratulating the Awardees, NCPEDP and Mphasis, the Chief Guest of the ceremony, Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, Department Of Empowerment Of Persons With Disabilities said “Accessibility issues are challenging to the policy makers, engineers, governments, corporates, innovators and inventors but we should not tire from going incrementally towards perfecting and trying to replicate the designs and the accessibility issues that can finally take us towards a professed goal of universal accessibility. Without accessibility, inclusivity cannot become a reality”.
“What we are doing today may be looked at from the narrow perspective and it’s for particular category of disability, but looking from perspective of Universal accessibility and Inclusivity, you will find that, it has a wide and deep inclusive and empowerment not only for the disabled but the aged, the women, pregnant women, children, and many others and finally the universal inclusivity in terms of those who may have been left behind due to absence of technology and lack of proper accessible tools,” she added.
Speaking on the occasion Arman Ali, executive director, NCPEDP pointed out that the pandemic had taught us the importance of accessibility as a fundamental right. “Access to information is particularly important as people with or without disabilities navigated through the new normal in todays times,” he said.
Over 76 applications were received from across the country and even overseas. The jury for the prestigious award comprised of Som Mittal, Chairman, NCPEDP, Nipun O S, AVP and Head, CSR, Mphasis, Shilpi Kapoor, CEO, Barrier Break, Mamta Kohli, Senior Social Development Advisor, FCDO and Prof. P.VM Rao, Head, Department of Design, IIT Delhi.
Giving the closing remarks Som Mittal, Chairman, NCPEDP said that COVID has provided us with an opportunity and shown that many demands for reasonable accommodation by people with disabilities were not unreasonable and have now become part of work and life in this new normal. “Ensuring accessibility of products and services is not only mandated by the law but it makes for increased business sense as we can attract more customers – people with disabilities and older people –together easily 15% of our population,” said Mittal. He also reiterated the need to ensure that the upcoming Census 2021 is inclusive and accessible for persons with disabilities and appealed to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to push for this demand to ensure that people executing the Census must be trained and sensitised with right questions”.
The awards were instituted in 4 categories; A total of 13 Winners, 2 Special Jury Awardees, and 4 Jury Recognitions were acknowledged during the ceremony on September 28, which is also celebrated as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.
Category A: Persons with Disabilities
Awards in this category are given to people with disabilities who have created an impact in Accessibility and Universal Design by designing consumer products with the aid of assistive technology in their personal and professional capacity
1. Ravindra Rambhan Singh, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2. Raghavendra Satish Peri, Secunderabad, Telangana
3. Dr. Vikrant Sirohi, Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Special Recognition by Jury:
1. Ketan Kapoor B, Pune, Maharashtra
2. Pratishtha Deveshwar, Hoshiarpur, Punjab
Category B: Working Professionals
Awards in this category are given to people who work for the cause of accessibility. She/ he may be an employee of an education institute/ NGO/ corporate/ government body that has taken up the cause or maybe a consultant or freelancer who has devoted her/ his time for the cause.
1. Sandeep D Ranade, Pune, Maharashtra
2. Anupam Kumar Garg, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
3. Adarsh Hasija, Bengaluru, Karnataka
4. Naveen Kumar M, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Special Jury Award
1. Dr Srinivas Puppala, Telangana
Special Recognition by Jury
1. Aakanksha Sharma & Bharath Surendra, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
2. Astha Ashesh Avinash, Vadodara, Gujarat
Category C: Companies/ Organisation
Awards in this category are given to those companies or organisations who have taken up the cause of Accessibility and Universal Design by implementing either/all of these within their organisations, which has led to them recruiting or serving people with disabilities and providing them equal opportunities to participate to the best of their abilities.
1. Flexmotiv Technologies Pvt Ltd, New Delhi
2. Kidaura Innovations Private Limited, Nashik, Maharashtra
3. Tactopus Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Bengaluru, Karnataka
4. Truce Consulting Services Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, Karnataka
The NCPEDP – Mphasis Javed Abidi Public Policy Awards for Accessibility and Universal Design
1. Karpagam. M, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
2. Arun Kumar Singh, Jharkhand
Special Jury Award
1.Kausar Jamil Hilaly, Guwahati, Assam