The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at an esteemed ceremony to celebrate the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, on December 3, 2021 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. President Shri Kovind will confer the annual National Awards on individuals, institutions, organizations and state/district, etc., for their outstanding achievements and work towards the empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
Union Minister for Social Justice &Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar will preside over the function, while Union Ministers of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Ramdas Athawale, Shri A. Narayanaswamy and Ms. Pratima Bhoumik 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 2020, are being given under following categories: –
I. Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities;
II. Best Employers and Placement Officers and/or Agencies;
III. Best Individual and Institution, working for the cause of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
IV. Role Model;
V. Best Applied Research or Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities;
VI. Outstanding Work in creation of barrier-free environment for Persons with Disabilities;
VII. Best District in providing rehabilitation services;
VIII. Outstanding Creative Adult Person with Disabilities;
IX. Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
X. Best Braille Press;
XI. Best State (i) in promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
XII. 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 Extraordinary 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.
An advertisement inviting applications from persons belonging to all the 21 specified disabilities as also individuals/intuition working for empowerment of persons with disabilities (Divyangjan) was published in the leading newspapers on 25th July, 2020 with the last date for submission of applications as 9th September, 2020 which was subsequently extended to 30.09.2020. Copy of the advertisement was also uploaded on the website for the Department besides writing letters to States/Union Territories to give wide publicity. In all 1095 (997 hard copy +98 on e-mail) applications were received. The selection process consisted of examination of documents and records submitted by the applicants. These applications were screened and shortlisted by the Screening Committees constituted by the Department.