ecognising good work

ecognising good work

Kolkata-based Manovikas Kendra Rehabilitation and Research Institute for the Handicapped and Delhi-based Action for Autism (AFA) have been selected for the Rotary India Award 2003 ‘Caring for the Mentally Challenged’ and Special Commendation respectively. The awards will be presented by the Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, at a function at Chinmaya Mission here on Monday.

While the Rotary India Award carries Rs 2 lakh in cash and a citation, the special com mendation carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.

Dr Sharada Fatehpuria, Founder Director-Secretary of Manovikas Kendra Rehabilitation and Research Institute and Merry Barua, Founder of AFA, will receive the award on behalf of their organisations.

While Manovikas Kendra Rehabilitation and Research Institute has been selected for the Rotary India award for its outstanding contribution to the care and rehabilitation of mentally challenged citizens, AFA has earned a special commendation for spreading awareness about autism. Dr Fatehpuria is credited with the growth of the Kendra and her exemplary work for the rehabilitation of differently abled persons.

A training and advocacy organisation, AFA supports the rights of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and multiple mental disability. AFA was founded by Merry Barua in 1991, after her son was diagnosed as being autistic and she could not find any organisation working in this area. AFA is now recognised as the national body of autism in India and fosters the growth of parents’ organisations.

Rotary Awards for Service to Humanity (India) Trust was set up in 1991 by prominent Rotarians to identify individuals, corporate or institutional initiative and contribution in different areas of community service and to recognise and reward excellence in service to humankind.

A jury presided over by the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Justice A.S. Anand selected the awardees for the 12th Rotary India Award after scrutinising 98 nominations sent to the Trust.

Other members of the jury were Dr Aloka Guha, Chairperson, National Trust for Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities, Dr Abid Hussain, former Ambassador to the USA, and Mr H. K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune.

The Rotary Awards for Service to Humanity (India) Trust has so far given awards in various areas of humanitarian service as literacy, family planning, environment, child welfare and development, education of the girl child, public health and sanitation, elimination of child labour, population stabilisation and development, empowerment of women and water management.