“Let us walk together with grace and dignity “

Jul 01, 2013 | Posted by admin in Events & Happenings   No Comments »

NINA Foundation and WeSchool join hands in solidarity to celebrate the Spinal Injury Awareness Day, 25th June 2013.

With nearly 1.5 million people with spinal cord injury   in its fold, India is fast becoming the top spot for people with this disability.  NINA foundation, a twelve year old NGO, dedicated to the cause of the rehabilitation of friend with the disability celebrates the spinal injury awareness day every year on 25th June ,with WeSchool as its academic partner . it was a medical camp for paraplegics  from far flung corners of the country ,which culminated in the Awards function at WeSchool last year ,where  Amol Boriwale, India’s National champion in archery, was honored with the WILLSTAR AWARD with  Nitin Goel ,Head –Regional treasury –Asia Pacific and India Nokia Samsung Network ,who had wheeled in with his wife and two young daughters to receive the ‘ROCKSTAR award ‘at the hands of Diana Hayden, Ms World 1997 , amidst a huge round of applause. Nitin Goel, had lost his legs in an accident at a young age but has today reached a pinnacle of successful career and leads an active life as a counselor, motivator, member of the consumer committee of people with spinal cord injury. These awards by NINA Foundation are a symbol of the will power and unrelenting spirit of friends with spinal cord injury who have carved their own path to success in spite of endless physical hardships. It showcases the strength, pride and fearlessness with which they have faced life to become independent and provide a beacon of hope to others.

This year none other than Padmabhushan Smt Rajashree Birla, Director -Aditya Birla Group of industries and philanthropist was the chief guest for the event at WeSchool. It was a moment to cherish for the wheelchair bound Kiranbhai Jani to receive the ROCKSTAR Award at her hands. Kiranbhai has strived hard to turn Ambaji,   a place of pilgrimage and hence a busy tourist centre, into a wheelchair friendly and accessible destination. Thanks to his persistent  follow up with the temple  trust authorities for installing ramps and other infrastructure  ,friends with disabilities  are now able to perform  religious rites  without any encumbrances. What impressed everyone at event the most was that in his acceptance speech, he highlighted the need for educational empowerment and reminded all to be actively vigilant of the government’s role in uplifting the physically challenged and blind .

For the other star of the evening, Dr Smt .Padma Patil,  recipient of the WILLSTAR Award, it was an emotional moment to receive the honour at hands of Smt Birla  . With the devastation and   turmoil created by the tragic  spinal cord injury combined with abandonment by her husband and responsibility of a growing child ,  life had become a race of hurdles that destiny threw at her .  She had to keep fighting the physical, emotional and spiritual battles with grit and determination to overcome the challenges. Dr Patil today runs a successful coaching class that has made her self-sufficient and enables her to take care of her son’s engineering education.

While applauding the achievements of the awardees Smt Rajashree Birla, Director, Aditya Birla Group, said, “I am extremely happy to be present here today and take this opportunity to thank NINA Foundation for their invaluable support and contribution. You have all gone through and perhaps continue to go through the most trying circumstances physically and emotionally. What is truly inspiring is that after the initial phase you have faced the challenges with equanimity and fortitude. You have all found light, in what many would have construed as darkness and you have not let darkness cloud your spirit .The key lesson here is that life affirming thoughts have a power to heal. Negative emotions can only be destructive “She cited the examples of Actor Christopher Reeves and the legendary Scientist Stephan Hawking and urged the friends with spinal injury to emulate them.

“ At this point of our journey , We look forward to nurturing the global  Citizen leader not only thru our inventive educational programs  but also aim at changing their lenses  to recover  the trust deficit created by the  economic crisis by working with sensitivity and empathy for the benefit of all stakeholders in the global society, Our association with NINA Foundation for the past five years is  one of the steps in this direction  ”said Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director-WeSchool in his brief address.



Dr Ketna Mehta, Editor and Associate Dean –Research, WeSchool, who spearheads NINA Foundation with admirable courage, had a message of optimism and hope. “We are on wheelchairs but we are subtly changing the rules by creating awareness, publishing our success stories, taking our members for outbound programs, we are becoming role models by participating in activities like the Mumbai Marathon, and many more. We believe in positivity and optimism, and that makes us successful”

Apart from Kiranbhai Jani and Dr Padma Patil, two young paraplegics, Sanika Shasane and Dinkle Shah were felicitated and awarded educational scholarships at the hands of Dr Bhojraj for getting good results in HSC, while Nisha Gupta (In absentia) was gifted with an active wheelchair by NINA Foundation. The awardees got a standing ovation from the audience that consisted of Dr Pragya Ram,Group Executive  President –Corporate Communications &CSR -Aditya Birla Group, Padmashri Kanubhai Taylor who runs a school for the disabled, Shri Ketan Sutar ,Undersecretary –Govt of Gujarat, Dr Shekhar Bhojraj, Consultant Spine Surgeon -Lilavati Hospital,Dr Parinaz Humranwala , Dr Dhruv Mehta, Dhaval Mehta ,Vidhya Shenoy ,trustees and associates of NINA foundation , other supporters like representatives of Kreate Advertising,Spine foundation, Print house, Better services and Tribal route ;and  off course ,the students of WeSchool  who over the years have always volunteered for all the activities of NINA Foundation .

What remained etched on the minds of the  audience were the poignant moments  of the evening and the words full of wisdom and hope  by Smt Birla,” I wish your journey becomes better, as more and more people engage with the cause of the differently abled. My wish is that ,there are more such spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers,greater government and public support ,better attitudes in the society, more friendly and better travel facilities, infrastructural facilities and overall more friendly nation, that reaches out to the differently abled. And above all ,in the not so distant future, stem cell therapy would help cure spinal cord injuries”.


Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Singapore SEO SEO Blog  SEO Web Design  Mind Movies