On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday, President Droupadi Murmu, in a grand ceremony in New Delhi, bestowed the National Awards for the Empowerment of Divyangjan 2023 upon 21 individuals and 9 institutions for their exemplary contributions across various fields.
President Smt. Murmu, addressing the audience, reiterated the significance of prioritizing the empowerment of Divyangjan, constituting 15 percent of the global population. She applauded their inspirational struggles and achievements, recognizing them as a source of inspiration for all citizens.
The President proudly declared the new parliament building as accessible and a reflection of inclusivity and empathy, demonstrating the Government's dedication to creating an environment that accommodates Divyangjan. Stressing the importance of both physical and digital access, she highlighted the necessity of fostering an inclusive ecosystem aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
On this prestigious occasion, 30 outstanding Individuals, Institutions, Organizations, States, and Districts were honored for their remarkable achievements and contributions to the empowerment of Divyangjan.
President highlighted the remarkable progress among all players affected by disabilities, including women. Deepa Mallick Sheetal Devi, at just 16, secured three medals, including two gold, at this year's Asian Paralympic Games, showcasing the incredible potential of women with disabilities.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Virendra Kumar, the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, reaffirmed Divyangjan as an essential human resource. He informed that over one crore Unique Disability Identity cards have been issued to enhance accessibility to Government schemes. Dr. Kumar emphasized the government's commitment to providing equal opportunities, citing a four percent reservation in employment. He also highlighted key initiatives such as the Indian Sign Language Institute and the Divyang Sports Training Center, contributing significantly to the holistic development of Divyangjan.
The ceremony underscored the Government's unwavering dedication to fostering an inclusive society, with the empowerment of Divyangjan at the forefront of national priorities.
In 2023, applications/nominations for the National Awards were invited through the centralized portal of the Ministry of Home Affairs (www.awards.gov.in). The portal was open from June 15 to August 15, receiving 1874 applications. The Screening Committees shortlisted candidates, and the National Selection Committee, in its meeting on November 16, recommended 30 awardees for 2023. These prestigious awards were conferred by the President of India today at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.