The word “inclusivity” did not mean much to me, until the day, just a few years ago, I walked into the Lady Andal School auditorium to spend a few spellbinding hours, experiencing myriad emotions, at the CAVINKARE ABILITY AWARDS.
That I went on to serve in the jury of two subsequent editions and now, am President of Ability Foundation, does not speak volumes of any achievements but the fact that, I am now fully and wholly committed to inclusivity. Thank you Bharathi, for opening my eyes.
Since then, as an Administrator for the game of Golf, I have been able to introduce a commitment into the MOA of the Indian Golf Union, the apex body for Golf in India and join the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA), the leading collective for inclusive Golf. Post COVID, we will launch initiatives that will showcase inclusive golf in India.
As President of Ability Foundation, my role is to be the catalyst to propel the organisation into the future, learning from the 26-year experience of our founder Jayshree, her senior colleagues Janaki Pillai & Bharati Shekar, a team of dedicated colleagues and benevolent support of our Trustees.
Having enthused the think tank, to rack their grey matter and evolve a strategy plan, a refreshed Vision statement and a whole new Mission statement has emerged. The success of this plan revolves around the three keystones, “Empathize”, “Include” and “Compete”. While not wanting to drive a square peg into a round hole, each of our colleagues has been tasked with specific duties, building on their efforts in the past & their desire to deliver new initiatives. Their passion & dedication in this space, inspires me and I look forward to leading this team.
I see myself, given my 35 years in industry & business, focusing on extremely specific areas, as in:
- Sensitizing corporates and their huge workforce and seeking their financial support,
- Working with our Social media team to drive Ability Foundation’s visibility, including going global,
- Expanding our association with universities & bringing schools into the ambit &
- Working closely with Central & State Government authorities to expand the inclusivity footprint, across India.
COVID 19 has disrupted so many of us, in so many ways but I am an eternal optimist, and I take my inspiration from the words of the greatest of them all, Helen Keller, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Hasta la Vista
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- Devika Malik
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- Vaishnavi Venkatesh
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- Yashasvini Rajeshwar
The advent of the digital space and technology has transformed the way I live. Activities I grew up depending on others for help today have become pretty simple for me on my various devices. Technology has widened the scope of possibilities. It has opened up opportunities. It has also made me independent and, on several counts, a resource for friends and family. The laptop, smartphone and screen reading software have given life a new meaning and direction.
Listen to Ashaita Mahajan, Trustee at Yash Charitable Trust, speak to us about Cafe Arpan, a cafe in Mumbai staffed and managed by people with intellectual and developmental #disabilities. Why did they start a cafe? How has it grown? All this and more awaits!