Mumbai: As a distinguished audience comprising industry leaders and their families watched, heroes who overcame physical adversities to become successful professionals, athletes, and entrepreneurs, were honoured with the Dr Batra's Positive Health Awards 2023.
The awards ceremony, held on Friday evening at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, was the 15th edition of the annual honours announced by the Dr Batra's Positive Health Foundation, the 22-year-old CSR arm of Dr Batra's Group of Companies. The awards recognise individuals who transcended their own physical difficulties to become role models for others. A distinguished panel of judges, including Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto; Dr Mukesh Batra, founder of Dr Batra's Group of Companies and Padma Shri winner; Member of Parliament Maneka Gandhi, actor Vivek Oberoi, and filmmaker Balki, selected the winners.
Inspiring tale of a wheelchair basketball player
Dr Inshah Bashir, a resident of Kashmir, who won the "People's Choice Award", has been confined to a wheel chair after her spine was permanently injured in an accident. She withstood taunts from people, depression, and suicidal thoughts to become a wheelchair basketball player who represents India in international events "That accident not only injured my spine but also my aspirations,' she said.
A rehabilitation centre suggested that she take up a sport. "Our life is defined by our attitude," she said. "If your dream is important for you, you will make it happen."
Bashir was among three women short-listed for the 'People's Choice Award'. The runners up were Balalatha Mallavarapu, a paraplegic who runs a coaching programme for IAS aspirants, and visually challenged Vidhya Y who manages a digital tutorial.
Other 'Positive Health Heroes' were Apoorv Kulkarni who has fought a genetic conditionthat impaired his vision to climb the corporate ladder; Gulfam Ahmed, a power lifter who beat his polio disability; Pratik Mohite, and M S Chandrakanth Singh. "Think high even if your height is low," said Mohite, a body builder and gymnasium trainer despite limb deformities.
Singh, who is physically challenged, is an entrepreneur whose company manufacturers shopping bags, surgical bedsheets and surgical masks. He offers himself as an inspiration for not just people with physical disabilities but also others. "People look for employment. I advise them to become employers," he said.
Chief guest at the function, actor Fatima Sana Shaikh, spoke about her experience with homeopathy. She said that her epilepsy made all medications a problem. "I am worried about the side-effects of medicines, but with homeopathy there are no side-effects. It is a very holistic treatment, " she said. Other guests who spoke at the event were actors Madhoo Shah and Zayed Khan.
Positive Health Heroes set example for many
Dr Batra told the audience that he believed that true inspiration for patients come from other patients who have successfully recovered. "The 'Positive Health' heroes are an inspiration to millions of others who are sick. As a healing brand we take pride in their extraordinary stories, a testament to their true inspiration," he added.
In an audio visual address to the audience, Bajaj said that he believed in homeopathy." I strongly advocate it as I have also witnessed its healing process," he said.
The audience were entertained by 'Swarrangee', an orchestra of visually challenged musicians, and a troupe from the Aamad Dance Centre which included artists on wheelchairs.Narendra Kashyap, a one-legged mimic artist and a social media star enthralled the audience.