Jamshedpur, Jan 30: The annual Sabal Awards instituted by Tata Steel Foundation was hosted today with 67 individuals, who have showcased exceptional talent and outstanding vision for themselves and the community at large, being awarded.
The event, hosted online, aims to acknowledge the spirit and talents of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) reached out to achievers across the country receiving entries from 306 individuals spanning across 53 unique locations representing 18 States/UT.
The Sabal Awards are designed as a step forward to reach out to several exemplary persons who are engaged in contributing to the larger cause of disability in their own unique ways.
The awardees included individuals whose journeys of relentless struggles and dauntless courage are an inspiration for thousands of people out there who are tiring hard to overcome the societal challenges.
Tapaswini Das, the first visually impaired girl to have qualified the Odisha Civil Service Examination, conducted by OPSC (Odisha Public Service Commission), was awarded as the Sabal Shining Star for Self and Family. She is determined to work towards the welfare of Odisha and its people.
Ibadalin Kharbuli who received the Sabal Wordsmith Award for his essay, ‘A Tiara of Love’, said that his writing aims to portray the life, challenges, aspirations and dreams of all persons with disability.
“We, too, wish to live a normal life like everyone else. A lot of my fellow friends with disability would be going through the same circumstances in life but would not be able to speak up for fear of rejection. This is my expression on behalf of all of them,” said Ibadalin.
Mukesh Kanchan, with locomotor disability, who has played 57 international matches for Indian cricket team for the Divyangjan, was awarded as the Sabal Shining Star for Community.
The list also included dancers, singers, writers and performers who have turned inspiration for people around them.
Present at the event were distinguished guests including Satish Chandra, State Disability Commissioner, Chanakya Chaudhary, Director, Tata Steel Foundation and Ruchi Narendran, Patron, Centre for Hearing Impaired Children amongst others who shared their thoughts on disability issues and announced the winners.
Awards were given in seven categories spread across two broad benchmarks – Sabal Spirit of Expression aimed at unearthing and recognising the talents of PWDs in the creative fields and Sabal Outstanding Vision that is an attempt to recognize individuals with inspiring stories of overcoming adversities.
The award ceremony also witnessed the felicitation of change agents – the ‘Sabal Saathis’ – thereby acknowledging their selfless service towards the cause of persons with disability.
Tata Steel Foundation in partnership with Enable India, a leading organisation in the field of disability empowerment, instituted Sabal – Center for Abilities in 2017 at Noamundi. Sabal is based on the principles of creating a participative infrastructure that will allow PWDs to find a one-stop resource center for skilling, employability and financial independence.
Sabal has so far reached more 5000 lives through disability certification, linkages with government schemes and job opportunities, digital literacy and capacity building workshops.