#InclusionChamps – Getting rewarded by your mentor is an immense honour, says Pratishtha Deveshwar, Winner, Universal Design Award 2020
Feisty and articulate, Pratishtha Deveshwar is making a name for herself in the field of disability rights advocacy in India. The issues she takes up are varied like the need for tough road safety laws or greater rights for disabled women.
The marginalisation of people with disabilities in India was brought home to Pratishtha Deveshwar after she was disabled in a road accident at the age of 12. As a wheelchair user she came face to face with the struggles the community faces when it comes to accessing the most basic rights.
These experiences have shaped her commitment to become a disability rights advocate. She says winning the Special Recognition Award from the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) is a special honour.
Pratishtha has won it in the category of persons with disabilities who have created an impact in accessibility and universal design across varied areas.
I am supremely grateful for it because my journey in the field of disability rights advocacy started with a national youth convention held by the NCPEDP in 2017. Now I have received my first award in the field of disability rights by the NCPEDP itself, so getting rewarded by your own mentor is a matter of immense honour. I am so grateful for it. – Pratishtha Deveshwar, Winner, Universal Design Award 2020
First Indian in wheelchair to study in Oxford
Pratishtha is currently pursuing a degree in Public Policy at Oxford University, making her the first Indian in a wheelchair to do so. She plans to use her learnings there to empower people with disabilities in India.
A goal that would certainly get a nod of approval from the late disability rights activist Javed Abidi, a man Pratishtha regards as her mentor.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the late Shri Javed Abidiji who was my first and constant mentor in the field of disability rights and taught me to speak up for my community fearlessly”.
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