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CavinKare and Ability Foundation Honour Exceptional Achievers With Disabilities at 22nd CavinKare Ability Awards 2024

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Chennai: FMCG major CavinKare in partnership with Ability Foundation today honoured 5 disabled achievers, from across the country, as part of its 22nd CavinKare Ability Awards 2024. The annual award property in the current edition brought to limelight the exemplary achievements of disabled individuals from diverse fields. The grand award function was conducted in the city in the presence of dignitaries. The event also hosted a traditional Cheraw and Chheih Lam dance of Mizoram, performed by the students of Ephatha Special School for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Aizawl leaving the audience enthralled and was a testament to the fact that talent, beauty and art transcend disability.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. CK Ranganathan, Chairman and Managing Director, CavinKarePvt. Ltd. said, “The CavinKare Ability Awards year after year has celebrated the spirit and resilience of disabled individuals. Every year the achievers have shown the world their exceptional ability to conquer challenges and break barriers with ease. We are happy to have played a small role in their remarkable journey, by being a platform that brings them into a well-deserved limelight. I congratulate the winners and thank them for inspiring us to push us above and beyond.”

The recipients of this year’s awards were carefully selected by a distinguished panel of Jury members- Madhan Karky-Lyricist and Screenwriter, KV Ramani-Chancellor, Sai University, Bharat Bala-Filmmaker, Suresh Raman- Head, Operations, Tata Consultancy Services, Lata Murugan- Former HOD of Direction, LV Prasad College of Media Studies The  recipients were selected based on their ability to overcome adversity, the level of difficulty in their achievements, and the uniqueness of their achievement.

Congratulating the winners on their achievements,  Ms. Jayshree Raveendran, Founder & Hon. Executive Director, Ability Foundation, said, “Year after year… now for the 22nd year in succession, we bring you, an array of awesome achievers with disabilities. It has been a thrilling venture to say the least, bringing out that adrenalin rush in us, each and every time. The CavinKare ABILITY Awards serve as a testament to the fact that disability does not hinder capability.  And, spotlighting on these remarkable individuals serves a very crucial purpose to promote inclusivity and breaking down barriers. Celebrating strengths, talents and achievements of remarkable people who have overcome countless obstacles, makes me wonder why the due recognition is still slow to come in our country. Each nominee and recipient embodies the true spirit of determination and courage. And I’m truly grateful to all of you for your unwavering support in this. I’m confident that the slices of life we  share with you today will challenge each one of you to re-evaluate your perceptions and attitudes and, together we can pave the way for a more understanding, supportive and inclusive society.”

Established in the year 2003, the CavinKare Ability Awards has been recognizing exemplary services as well as accomplishments of disabled achievers. This esteemed national award is divided into three categories: the CavinKare Ability Award for Eminence, the CavinKare Ability Mastery Awards and CavinKare Ability Special Recognition Award.

The recipients of CavinKare Ability Awards 2024 are:

CavinKare Ability Special Recognition Award

Dr Ketna.L. Mehta – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Dr Ketna.L Mehta is a celebrated figure in disability circles, both for her contribution to changing the lives of those with spinal cord injury, as well as for her indomitable spirit of adventure. A paragliding accident in 1995 resulted in spinal injury and left her needing long term rehabilitation, but never dulled her inherent thirst for life and her academic bent of mind.  In recognition of academic excellence, she was made a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of India in 1999 and went on to be awarded a PhD for her work on Healthcare Rehabilitation Management in 2009.  Establishing the Nina Foundation in 2001 was born of the desire to enhance the quality of life in all aspects for those with spinal cord injury.  From home-based and virtual rehabilitation services and mentorship to awareness drives and outbound programmes, Nina Foundation works to enable a life of dignity for everyone.

CavinKare Ability Award for Eminence

Vidhya Y- Bengaluru, Karnataka

Vidhya Y is the founder of Vision Empower, which works to equip and encourage children with visual impairment to pursue STEM education in school, because this is an area where blind students are conspicuously absent. The organisation works with partners to create accessible content, instruction kits and technologies to assist the teaching and learning of STEM in schools. This initiative is the result of Vidhya’s personal journey. Despite math being a favourite subject in school, she was always discouraged on account of her blindness. Nevertheless, she persisted and She went on to complete a BCA, dealing with the challenges of inaccessible material and insensitive environments along the way, finally topping her batch. When it came to getting a job, there was little success, with people, frustratingly, pointing her in the direction of ‘blind jobs’ such as a telephone operator. This was the moment when she decided that she would not look for jobs anymore. She would create them.

CavinKare Ability Mastery Awards

Vinayana Khurana – New Delhi

Vinayana Khurana is an author, poet, blogger and research scholar. Her writings are effective messages aimed at removing stereotypes and creating inclusivity.  Her intellectual bent of mind and the ability to concentrate have been the dominant aspects of her persona, more than the challenges of mobility and speech posed by cerebral palsy. Vinayana always wanted to express her thoughts, and her journey from being unable to write, to today, typing her poems, stories, blogs and books, has been truly remarkable. Vinayana is currently working towards an MPhil degree. Her own educational journey, from a special school to mainstream institutions, has influenced the choice of subject for her  dissertation– Inclusive education. Her indomitable spirit and eternal optimism have held her in good stead and as she says, ‘I may be sitting in this wheelchair, but my mind is flying.’

Aishwarya T V- Secunderabad, Telengana

Aishwarya is a multi-faceted personality.  Artist, script writer, counsellor, entrepreneur. When a brain tumour robbed her of her eyesight while studying for a degree in mass communication, she decided to give life her best shot and hit the ground running.  Discovering screen readers was life-changing and during her work in rehabilitation at L V Prasad Eye Institute, she worked on awareness audio and then directed video films. Rekindling her interest in art, Aishwarya focussed on making it tactile and accessible.  Having spent the first decade after acquiring a disability on rebuilding her life, She then sought to find solutions to problems faced by persons with visual impairment. This led to Spacefelt,  an application that allows people with visual impairment to label anything according to their specific requirement needs. Aishwarya’s journey continues. Her story could very easily have been one of loss – a child who lost both her parents, her eyesight, and many of her dreams. Instead, she rewrote her script, and today, her story is one of potential.

Chhonzin Angmo – New Delhi

Chhonzin’s achievements are impressive and inspiring. Born in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, she gradually lost her vision over a four-month period. Navigating the challenges of Moving  away from home to complete her schooling, often in challenging circumstances, the world opened up when she entered university. From winning medals, performances at the state and national level in kabaddi, swimming and marathon events to playing cricket and football, Chhonzin has made a mark everywhere. Her love for mountaineering stemmed from an inclusive course in which she excelled, and thereafter she scaled Mount Kanamo peak (19,635 ft) and Mount Kang Yatsae 2 (20,459 ft) in addition to the Siachen glacier. Her ambition in sports and mountaineering is limitless.  Chhonzin has always chosen the more difficult route, not only for herself, but to give confidence to others like herself as also to give society the understanding that visual impairment need not be as limiting as it is often thought to be.

About CavinKare: CavinKare is a diversified FMCG major with business interest in personal care, professional care, dairy, snacks, foods, beverages & salons. The brand portfolio consists of Shampoos (CHIK, Meera, Karthika, and Nyle), Hair Wash Powders (Meera & Karthika), Coconut Oil (Meera), skin creams (Fairever & Spinz), Deodorant; Talc (Spinz), Pickles; Snacks (Ruchi, Chinni’s & Garden), Hair colors (Indica), Retail Salon Products (Raaga Professional), Beverages (Maa), Dairy (Cavin’s), Beauty Salons (Green Trends & Limelite), Men’s grooming (Biker’s) and D2C Personal Care products (Buds and Berries). Under some of its key personal care brands, CavinKare also offers hand sanitizers and liquid soaps. Most of the brands are clear winners in their respective product categories. A dedicated  R & D center equipped with the latest equipment and technologies constantly supports the divisions in their endeavor. CavinKare has achieved significant milestones and a competitive edge with a sound understanding of mass marketing dynamics and has established a firm foothold in the national market. CavinKare’s success is based on it being firmly grounded to its corporate mission ‘We shall grow significantly better than the industry by fostering innovation and building preferred brands, through passionate and delighted employees.

About Ability Foundation: Founded in 1995, with a philosophy much ahead of its time, Ability Foundation, headquartered in Chennai, has established itself as a national cross-disability umbrella organisation that has incessantly worked across the country towards an equitable society for every citizen with disability. By emphasizing the potential of people with disabilities and empowering them through trailblazing initiatives, Ability Foundation moves steadfastly to bridge the gap between people with and without disabilities. The Foundation engages in a range of activities from publishing, employment, media, and culture, to implementation of policy, legislation, and human rights, to realize the unwavering commitment towards an equitable civil society. Ability Foundation operates under the tenet that barriers created by societal attitudes rather than actual disabilities are what truly hinder people. Given the right opportunities at the right time, so much more is possible – an open mind is all it takes.

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