President Droupadi Murmu Felicitates 52 Persons With Disabilities


New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday felicitated 52 persons with disabilities for their laudable contribution in their fields, including a 66-year-old Mridu Ram Goel, who is an expert in access audit.

Goel, who suffers from 81 per cent locomotor disability and is wheel-chairbound, has been raising issues related to the construction of ramps in government buildings in Lucknow. Vidhya Y, 29, another recipient of the award, was honoured by the president for, among other things, developing “the world’s most affordable” electronic Braille book reading solution for children.

Murmu presented the National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for 2021 and 2022 here on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Vidhya, who is visually-impaired and has done her Msc in Digital Society, founded Vision Empower (VE) in 2017 which was incubated at the IIIT-Bangalore Innovation Centre.

In 2020, she also co-founded ‘Vembi Technologies’ to design and manufacture assistive technology solutions to make education accessible and inclusive for visually-impaired students, according to her citation.

Vembi has developed the world’s most affordable electronic Braille book reading solution for children called Hexis-Antara which automatically converts digital print to braille.

Among other people who were conferred with the award is Pooja Ojha, who suffers from 80 per cent locomotor disability. A para-canoe sportsperson, Ojha has represented India in Thailand, Hungary, Japan, and Canada.

Atul Jaiswal, 25, has 100 per cent hearing impairment since birth. He was conferred with the award for his accomplishments in the field of sports.

Dr Vaibhav Bhandari, 33, has muscular dystrophy (82 per cent) since birth. He was awarded in recognition of the social work done by him.

Vaishnavi, suffering from locomotor disability of 72 per cent, won the award for the outstanding work she has done in empowerment of persons with disabilities and helping them develop skills.

She has also received a number of awards at the state level from 2013 to 2019 by various organisations.

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