The Government of India declared National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities today. In total, Maharashtra received 5 awards in different categories. The distribution of these awards will be done by the President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on December 3, which is marked as World Disability Day.
This year, Pranay Burde from Mumbai and Gauri Gadgil from Pune have won awards in the category of disabled persons with mental retardation/mental illness/autism.
The other awards declared today were:
- Best institute – ETC Education, Vashi
- Best Braille Press – National Association for the blind, Worli
- Best Accessible Website – The Jalgaon People Co-Operative Bank Ltd
Who is Gauri Gadgil?
Gauri Gadgil is a child with special needs, who has also played herself in the film named ‘Yellow’ which explores a mother and daughter relationship. The film involves Down’s syndrome, a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features and mild to moderate intellectual disability. When Gauri was born, the family was in Jalgaon, where she was enrolled in a pre-school for special children. When the couple learnt that Pune had better schools for differently-abled children, they shifted to the city in 1996.
What sets Gauri Gadgil apart?
Gauri, a Down syndrome child went on to win silver medal twice at the Special Olympics in swimming. She has become inspiration to many people in the Bollywood and Marathi film industry. Yellow, is made on her life story and for her acting in the film she has won Special Jury mention at National Awards this year. The 23-year-old woman’s astonishing performance in the Marathi film Yellow, where she plays herself an athlete with Down’s Syndrome (DS) has left many in the audience in tears.
What are her achievements?
Gauri had won around 55 competitions. This includes a gold medal at the National Paralympics 2003, a silver medal at the Special Olympics Summer Games held in Beijing in 2008, and silver and two bronze medals at the recently-held Asia Pacific Games – Special Olympics 2013 in Australia. She started learning swimming to improve her motor activities, but soon developed a special interest in it and then started participating in different competitions.
What are Gauri’s aspirations?
After the film’s success, she had expressed her with to continue acting in more films. She also wants to become a swimming coach. In spite of achieving so many things, her daily routine is a schedule with complete discipline. She never falters to take up daily exercises, speech therapy sessions and study.