Five persons and companies like IBM India, Wipro, SAIL and NTPC were conferred with the 11th Hellen Keller Award on Wednesday night for their contribution to the welfare of the disabled.
The list of the awardees, who achieved success despite many hurdles, included Nupur Jain, a visually impaired woman who is now a senior executive at Wipro, Maniram Sharma, an IAS officer who is hearing impaired and G J Siddarth, an executive of a company who suffered from cerebral palsy.
Meenu Bhambhani, global head, corporate social responsibility, Mhasis Ltd and Sam Taraporevala of Xavier's College, Mumbai, were the other awardees.
Giving away the awards at a function here, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said efforts by the corporate sector to help the disabled provide hope for their future.
"If we want to move ahead as a civilisation, we need to work together. It is time for the disabled persons to form a politically active grouping so that they get recognised at the political platform," he said.
Sibal added that the society has got obligations towards persons with disability as "we are also helped by people around us. There is also a need for inclusive policy".
Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express, said "sensitivity" towards the disabled was now increasing. He said the section has not been recognised at the political platform, but the rise of a new generation of politicians provides some hope towards focussing on the issue with utmost importance.