The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkiah Naidu will be the Chief Guest at a function to celebrate “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” organized by the DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on 3rd December 2019 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. He will confer the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations and State/District etc. for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot will preside over the function. Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Shri Ramdas Athawale and Shri Rattan Lal Kataria will also grace the occasion.
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities i.e. 3rd December, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment confers National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations, State/District etc for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities every year.
National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for the year 2019, are being given under 14 (Fourteen) categories hereunder:-
- Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities;
- Best Employers and Placement Officers and/or Agencies;
- Best Individual and Institution, working for the cause of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
- Role Model;
- Best Applied Research or Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities;
- Outstanding Work in creation of barrier-free environment for Persons with Disabilities;
- Best District in providing rehabilitation services;
- Best State Channelizing Agency of the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC);
- Outstanding Creative Adult Person with Disabilities;
- Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
- Best Braille Press;
- Best Accessible Website;
- Best State (i) in promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; & (ii) for implementation of Accessible India Campaign.
- Best Sports-person with Disabilities.
Till 2017, the Award Scheme was governed under the National Awards Rules, 2013 which provided 7 categories of disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. However, with the coming into force of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 w.e.f. 19th April 2017, the number of specified disabilities increased from 7 to 21 under the new Law. Accordingly all the 21 disabilities have been included under the National Award Guidelines which have been notified in the Extra-ordinary Gazette of India dated 2nd August, 2018.
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) writes to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrators and Central Ministries/Departments calling nominations for National Awards in various categories. Advertisement is also published in the national/regional language daily newspapers to give wide publicity of the Awards. The detailed scheme of National Awards as also the advertisement issued for calling applications is displayed in the website of the Department (www.disabilityaffairs.gov.in ) in a downloadable format.
Following above mentioned procedure for National Awards 2019, an advertisement inviting applications from persons belonging to all the 21 specified disabilities was published in the leading newspapers on 5th July, 2019 with the last date for submission of applications as 30th August, 2019 which was subsequently extended to 30th September, 2019. In all 973 applications were received. These applications were shortlisted on merit basis by four Screening Committees constituted for this purpose. The National Selection Committee under the Chairpersonship of the Union Minister, Social Justice & Empowerment in its meeting held on 6.11.2019 considered the recommendation of the Screening Committees. In all 65 awards in 14 categories were approved. It is hoped that the achievements of the Awardees will motivate and inspire others to emulate for similar accomplishments.