Dr Batra’s Positive Health Awards honours the indomitable spirit of exemplary citizens
The prestigious Dr Batra’s Positive Health Awards ceremony held in Mumbai recently recognized six people from across India for their commendable show of courage.
The awardees, referred to as the ‘Dr Batra’s Positive Health Heroes’, included individuals who have defied the odds and proved that ‘nothing is impossible’.
Among them were Kousalya Periyaswamy, an HIV-positive activist from Chennai and the first woman to disclose her status as an HIV-positive patient in India.
Then there was General Ian Cardozo from Delhi, who is a one-legged amputee and the first differently-abled Indian army officer to command a brigade.
Another awardee was Sabari Venkat, a visually impaired 15-year-old boy from Coimbatore who has given over 150 motivational speeches.
There was also Devieka Bhojwani, a breast cancer survivor works to raise funds for the cause.
There was Kiran Nayak, a differently-abled transgender activist from Bangalore who works for sexuality and disability rights.
And there was Vikram Agnihotri, who is the first Indian double-armed amputee to be given a driving licence.
Their stories not only struck an emotional chord with the jury, but also left members of the audience teary-eyed.
Incidentally, Vikram Agnihotri won Dr Batra’s People’s Choice Award with a total of 47,529 votes. The other nominees were Nidhi Chaphekar, a survivor in the Brussels bomb attack, and Virali Modi, who has been striving to make the railways wheelchair-friendly.
Dr Batra’s People’s Choice Award 2018 saw an overwhelming participation this time, with votes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reaching 12.83 million, and views and impressions standing at 2.22 million and 24.94 million, respectively.
Encouragement from celebrities such as Shashi Tharoor, Dolly Bindra and Tara Deshpande brought in an additional reach of 7.22 million. The hashtag #NothingIsImpossible went viral on Twitter.
Currently in its 12th year, the Dr Batra’s Positive Health Awards presented by Bajaj V has become a springboard for awardees to fulfill their ambitions. Over the years, others have also acknowledged the tremendous mental strength it takes to fight physical odds.
Past winners have gone on to win accolades both in India and abroad. Among them were Deepa Malik, Positive Health Hero 2012, who beat all odds and became the 1st Indian woman to bring home a Paralympics silver medal in 2016; Laxmi Agarwal, Positive Health Hero 2014, who walked the ramp at the London Fashion Week in 2016; Girish Gogia, Positive Health Hero 2011, who was awarded with the Karmaveer Chakra by the International Confederation of NGOs in 2015; Arunima Sinha, Positive Health Hero 2014, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2015.
This year, the event was held at the Royal Opera House on November 27. With Shatrughan Sinha as the Chief Guest, the ceremony was graced by Madhoo Shah, Zayed Khan, Ali Asgar, Anu Malik, Shekhar Suman, Sumeet Sachdev, Ashwin Sanghi, Dolly Bindra and other eminent personalities.
Speaking on the occasion, Padma Shri recipient Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Dr Batra’s Group of Companies, said: “As a doctor for over 40 years, I have witnessed the struggles of people suffering due to disabilities. I believe survivors of these afflictions are a huge inspiration for other patients as well as the community at large.”
The jury comprised Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi, acclaimed filmmaker R. Balki, Dr. Mukesh Batra, actor Vivek Oberoi, and Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto.
“It is a privilege to be associated with Dr Batra’s Positive Health Awards. I am a firm believer in the science of homeopathy, and have witnessed its healing power personally. Dr. Mukesh Batra is a pioneer and visionary in the field of homeopathy, and has single-handedly taken homeopathy to millions of people across the globe. Thank you Dr Batra for giving us this opportunity to contribute through the wonderful platform that is the Positive Health Awards,” said Bajaj.
Dr Batra’s Foundation, the CSR arm of Dr Batra’s Group of Companies, has been making a profound difference to the lives of orphans, differently-abled children, and the elderly.
The foundation currently runs over 167 free clinics across the country. It also conducts CSR activities at a number of institutions, such as the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind, Shepherd Widow’s Home, Mercy Old Age Home, Happy Home, Sandhya Home for the Aged, Little Sisters of the Poor (Hyderabad and Chennai), Ek Prayaas, and Kartar Aasra Home. Further, it grants scholarships to underprivileged students who wish to pursue homeopathy.