Winners of the DSFI Excellence Awards.
Ms Arti Krishnamoorthy -Self Advocacy - Winner
Arti is a 30 year old vibrant,energetic,determined, multifaceted woman with Down Syndrome having Intellectual Disability. Despite her condition, by shear drive, determination and sustained hard work over a considerable period, she has attained laudable achievements ;be it in the sphere of Sports and other vocational skills. She has made a measurable impact with her consistent achievements, against odds, over the years. She is highly independent , very confident and wears the “Can do” attitude all the time. She has been an inspiration and role model not only for persons of her kind but also for others. She has displayed impressive social skills and has been taking part in various competitions / events without missing out on an opportunity. Her achievements in various fields, from sports to fine arts, has never ceased to impress anyone. Arti ‘s independence levels are so high that she can adjust and accommodate in any environment without cribbing. Arti has helped create awareness about Special Olympics through a small documentary.
She has been instrumental in raising funds for the recently concluded event of Special Olympics International Football Championship 2019 (SOIFC ), held from August 3 rd to 6 th at Chennai. She is an established swimmer who has won international recognition for her efforts.The most significant achievement being a proud member of the swimming team of Special Olympics Bharat contingent at the recently concluded Special Olympics World Games held at Adu Dhabi, from March 16-21 st , 2019 ; Where she won a Bronze Medal in 25m Butterfly Stroke, 5 th Place in 50m Free stlye and was a member of the 4x50m Medley Relay team.
Arti has also previously represented Special Olympics Bharat in swimming at Special Olympics Asia Pacific Regional Games, held at New Castle, Australia, during 2013 and won a Silver in 25m Butterfly and a Bronze in 50m Freestyle.. She loves interacting with people and lifts their spirits with her presence. Her amicable nature and ability to perform tasks with utmost perfection and precision has a lot of fan following. Her resilience, indomitable spirit, sense of purpose and the resultant achievements truly deserve recognition.
The achievement of Ms. Arti Krishnamoorthy in the field of sports and other vocational skills, is a kind of Trail Blazer and provides enormous hope to parents of other Down Syndrome children. She has adequately demonstrated the fact that with appropriate support, pursuit of Sports and other vocational skills could be a very absorbing, constructive and an all important activity that could provide enormous satisfaction and sense of purpose for Persons with Down Syndrome. Thus, she radiates hope and throws light on the normalcy of life for a person with Down Syndrome.
Arti made her foray into sports activities for the first time in the year 1998, when she participated in her first Special Olympics National events held at Chandigarh and won Gold medals. She has not looked back ever since. Arti had her inhibitions about water, when she started with her swimming lessons ; with the handholding, patience and dedication of her coach Mr. Veerabadran, she was able to overcome her fear gradually. With her adaptive nature, she learnt every single lesson and technique taught to her thoroughly and started practicing them meticulously. With time, she took to water like a fish and has not only donned the Indian colours but has completed 1Km swim in open water. Today, she is not only very passionate about swimming but also playing other sports like tennis, cricket, athletics, bowling to name a few and vocational skills like Baking, Weaving ,Emdroidery, Flower arrangement and Paper cover making. Arti has participated in Abilympics - Floral Arrangement competitions. Till date Arti has won about 75 Medals to her credit in various Sporting and Non Sporting events.
Ishwinder is the first and the youngest person with Down Syndrome in India to get permanent employment in Indian Judiciary as class IV Employee. Ishwinder is now posted with District & Sessions Judge Court Kapurthala. His achievement gives hope to numerous parents in Punjab which is just beginning to wake up for the cause of disability sector. He was born at the time when there was little guidance available in Punjab but he overcame all the challenges and is where he is today.
Ishwinder exemplifies the role of inclusive upbringing with overall development and confidence levels of an individual with special needs. Ishwinder has proved that despite the limitations Down Syndrome children can be master of their lives. They can be independent and self reliant. He has developed a trust in society. He has proved to be a valued member of society and is contributing to the development & progress of the society rather than being dependent on it.
Ishwinder was honoured with State Award on Disability day 2017 for his achievements from Department of Social Security and Development of Women and Children Punjab. This motivated and inspired many parents to work for their children for their betterment. Ishwinder possesses great organizational skills which came to light during various events / exhibitions organized at joint programmes of Chaanan Vocational and Skill Training Centre and Down Syndrome association Punjab. His confidence is the key factor which encourages him to learn new skills not only at his workplace but also helped him learn various life skills too.
He easily adapts to new place or people which helped him make many friends may it be his workplace or his neighbors. His cheerfulness spreads happiness around him. He willing takes up challenges and responsibilities in life. Ishwinder’s outstanding performance at Asia Pacific Special Olympics Games in Australia in 2013 (won bronze medal in 100m and 4th position in 200m), Achievements in National , State and District level Special Olympics games (athletics, badminton and karate) and Cultural activities make him more deserving for recognition. He successfully cleared class 8th exam from NIOS and is pursuing for grade 10th from NIOS. He was honoured by the District Administration for being the 1st Down Syndrome employee in a government job in Punjab. Ishwinder received District Honour from District administration on the eve of Independence Day in 2015 for his sports achievements. Ishwinder received District Honour from District administration on the eve of Republic day in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for three consequent years for his sports achievements.
Ishwinder’s employment in the District and Session courts encouraged inclusiveness in the true sense. It has generated awareness and acceptance of persons with special needs not only among the court employees but he had an impact also on the security employed there, the general public and even the bus drivers / conductors with whom he travelled to his job place 50 Km daily to and fro. He works equal number of hours as other colleagues in the court and all staff in the court are happy with his working as he concentrates on his work better than other employees. He delivers all files / letters efficiently to various courts independently finding his way in the massive building of the courts.
Ishwinder never misses a chance to visit his vocational centre on holidays where he shares his experiences / working with his friends and thus motivating them to keep trying. He invited his friend with cerebral palsy to his courts and introduced him to all his seniors and colleagues explaining his special needs thus generating awareness among general public. He is very loving towards children and elderly .He has been helping his grandfather who is on bed with paralysis. He gave speech therapy and physiotherapy to him and keeps motivating him and the family members that all will be well. His independence and adaptability gives a message in the society that Down Syndrome persons can lead a better and normal life bringing a change in their perception regarding disability.
Ishwinder’s live Doordarshan talk show ANMOL ZINDAGI, had a great impact on the population of Punjab and adjoining states where various calls were attended to satisfy the various queries of the parents. This programme was uploaded on You Tube which was viewed by 727 persons. You tube link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ7DvGb9SR With many honors and achievements, Ishwinder remains a true hope for parents of persons with Down syndrome and inspiration for persons with Down syndrome.
This organization is working with special needs children, to support parents and caregivers. It’s an online protocol aimed to empower and equip families with IDD.
While there are many organizations that work with special children, there is very little support available to parents and caregivers. This meant a great deal to Prachi, the Founder of Nayi Disha as she has an older brother with Down syndrome. Having witnessed her parents go through the challenges of limited support, she has founded Nayi Disha Reasource Center. Nayi Disha is an online portal aimed to empower and equip the families of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). It provides the required guidance, support, information about various aspects of IDD and its management. The website also provides a directory of service providers associated with the care and management of IDD, listed across various cities.
Over the years, Nayi Disha has come out with audio, video, e-books and info graphics on various subjects related to IDD. It has been successful in building up a strong community of families with around 9 peer support groups (WhatsApp) categorized as per diagnosis (Autism, DS, CP, Senior Parents) and location of the families(Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai). Nayi Disha also hosts periodic offline events in the form of parent training workshops and parent interaction sessions with subject-matter experts in the field of IDD. In addition, Nayi Disha has held yearly cultural events such as Abhivyakthi and Aao Khalien that served as a platform for children and adults with IDD who had the opportunity to showcase their inherent abilities and skillsets. Periodically, through an initiative called Sakhiyain Nayi Disha also encourages mothers in these families to spend an evening rejuvenating themselves by engaging in fun-filled hobbies like soap-making, weekend shopping, watching a movie together, to name a few. Founded in 2015, Nayi Disha is now associated with over 3,500 families across the country.
Mr. Amarjit Singh Anand
Mr.Amarjit Singh Anand is the father of DS daughter now 34, as Parents. Founder and President of Down Syndrome Association Punjab Since 2013. Working spread not only for Punjab, Parents of Down Syndrome North Comprising of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttra Khand, Haryana, Himachal, J&K are associated with him, as their guide, mentor, colleague, activist friend, brother, fatherly, available to them 24x7.
Mr. Amarjit Singh Anand’s contribution Started at District level (1986), period of 10 years (1996) reached State Level and further 8 years (1999) reached National level. In last 10 years his name is on the cards of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Disability Department, Special Olympic, National Trust, JJ Board and CWC in the State. Amarjit Singh Anand was part of UNCRPD New Law, had the honor of Representing State in PwD draft committee, Census Stake holders Committee 2001 and 2011, State Coordinator for PwD Elections in 2014 and 2019. Member states Rules of RPwD Act 2016, Mental Health Act 2017 and Rules Child Protection Act 2016.
Punjab was one State in which Disability Sector was invisible till year 2000 there was no leader to lead the Disability Community Specially intellectual Disability. My struggle started for the welfare, advocacy, rights and standard of living. There was hardly any advocacy happening in the State for the Rights of people with Disability. Amarjits work and Contribution really comes significant, as he is known as Institution in itself. His contribution for ID, PwD & Society in such a large field weather its Early Intervention, Education, Health, Sports, empowerment that my representation from District, State or National level. Due to his working & pressure on the State Govt, Punjab is one such state where RPwD Act 2016 is being implemented in all sections, i.e. Rules are framed and ratified by Cabinet, Special Disability Courts in all District have been set up by Registrar Punjab & Haryana High Court, ID assessment medical board is formed, as is working, State Disability Commissioner appointed and now working, most important Social Security Dept. now is to established separate Disability Department (one of the first State Govt. to do it) empowerment of PwD and PwIDD from 3% to 4% reservation notified and now to clear the back log advertisement for requirement for different department have started. Accessibility and inclusion in school, colleges, universities and public building is on way to implementation, lot more is on move and expected results by March 2020 under RPwD Act 2016.
Amarjit Singh working for the welfare of Ds ID as a father of Ds daughter, first person who contacted him was Dr. Sindoor Desai from USA who fixed a meeting in Delhi, Dr. Sindoor Desai spoke of me to Dr. Balbir Singh in Singapore and he was so inspired that he called my mentor in Down syndrome Dr. Rekha Ramachandran and told her about his work in Punjab.
Dr. Rekha Rama Chandran affectionately known as Rekha Maa started his journey with Down Syndrome Federation India, involving me at all its National, International activities as a part of DSFI family. Amarjit Singh Anand is a ray of hope to guide, support, who fights for Ds Children’s rights i.e. counseling, academic, health, parents motivational program, health forming parents groups / association, and now in last 3 years working on vocational & skill training to empower Ds Self Advocates. One of my centre male child Iswinder Singh 21 Yrs is a Role Model for Ds world / society to get placement / job in Indian Judiciary Services as class 4 (had passed 8 th standard through NIOS) now posted with Session Judge at Kapurthala District, 1 st Ds Child to get job in Judiciary in India. Amarjit Singh Anand Contribution and Advocacy has made Punjab State Govt. to appoint him as Expert Member State Divyangjan Advocacy Board.
Amarjit daughter Jasjeet Ds was born in 1986, in 1996 by the time Jasjeet was 10 years, his efforts and working made him form Punjab’s first Parents Association and affiliated to PARIVAAR in 2000. He was persued by Dr. Shidoor Desai USA, Dr. Balbir Singh Singapore and Rekha Rama Chandran in 2010 he formed 1 st Down syndrome parents Association in Punjab. It was his brain to make Ds Parents Data Bank, his significant efforts and contribution gave him long list of honours and awards, among which
- -Down syndrome International UK Award in 2015.
- -Sikh Sewak Society International UK Award 2019.
- -94.3 Jiyo Dil Se 2015-16.
- -Punjab State Awardee 2015.
- -Leonard Cheshire Disability Award 2015.
- -Down Syndrome International UK Award 2015.
- -Ashoka National Award-2015.
- -Bhai Ghanhiya Sewa Award 2013