Vidhi Sharma, 30, has been helping differently-abled individuals find suitable partners through her matrimonial service for the past 12 years. Sharma, who has cerebral palsy, has been nominated for an award by not-for-profit Able Disable All People Together (ADAPT).
The award ceremony will mark the first World Cerebral Palsy Day declared by the World Cerebral Palsy Alliance, a network of organisations from 28 countries.
Cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder, often leads to multiple disabilities, affecting movement and posture. “Among the differently-abled, people with cerebral palsy are often marginalised since their disability is not understood properly,” said Mithu Alur, founder, ADAPT. “Such a day will help people know more about the disability,” Alur added.
On Tuesday, ADAPT will felicitate individuals from different fields such as academics, entrepreneurship, arts, corporate employment, activism and independent living. Sharma has been nominated in the activism category for her work through her marriage agency which she started with her mother.
“The idea struck me when I attended my cousin’s wedding. I decided to help differently-abled people get an opportunity to enjoy such a day in their lives,” said Sharma.
N Ramakrishnan, 43, who has been nominated in the arts category, has been painting for the past 25 years, albeit in a different style. Ramakrishnan has control only over the toes of his right foot, and holds the brush between his toes. “He has been part of several national exhibitions,” said Vanaja Iyer, Ramakrishnan’s sister.
Parimal Lokhande, 24, is in the race for the academic award. “My family has always valued education, and I feel education is empowering,” said Lokhande, who completed an engineering course from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Nagpur, and graduated from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. He has recently started working as an investment banker in the city.