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The 71st Foundation Day and Padmashree Dr Rajendra T Vyas Memorial  Award Presentation ceremony was held on Saturday, 27th October 2018, at “Geeta Hall, Bhandup (West), Mumbai” from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.  Total 102 persons had participated in the function.  The programme started with  lighting  the lamp at the hands of Mrs Anubha Dixit, President  and Mrs Vasudha Sahasrabudhe and her team. Thereafter   a “Story Recitation” programme was conducted by Mrs Vasudha Sahasrabudhe  and team in Marathi as well as in Hindi.  The programme was very much interesting and the members were delighted and appreciated the team.

Padmashree Dr Rajendra T Vyas Memorial Award Presentation ceremony started at 6.00 p.m.  Hon. Dr Shrikant Shinde, M P was the Chief Guest for the function.  Mr Harshad Jadhav, Joint Secretary introduced Dr Shinde to the audience and praised his various activities as an M P  as well as a well known  Orthopaedic surgeon.  Mr Ketan Kothari, Hon. General Secretary explained various activities and services of our Association for the over all empowerment of visually challenged people, staying in Mumbai city and its suburbs, including adjoining districts viz. Thane, Palghar and Raigad.  He said that majority of our beneficiaries are belonging to  economically weaker section of the blind community and our aim is to make them self sufficient and lead a dignified life in the society.     Mr Pravin Dandia paid tribute to Dr Vays and shared his contribution.    he   informed that Dr Rajendra T Vyas was one of the founder members of the Association, in 1947.  He continued to  hold various positions of the Association till the  year 1993, and thereafter he was the President Emeritus of the Association till the end of his life in  the year 2010. Dr Vyas lived for 80 years out of which he dedicated  about 63 years for working  in the field of  blind welfare activities. He was   instrumental for a number of blind welfare activities not only with this Association but also with the National Association for the Blind, India, which was established during the year 1952, around 5 years after  the establishment  of  this Association. Through his initiative the National Association for the Blind, India, had started the Talking Book Library, Braille Press, Training Centres for the blind and many more activities.  His name will always be written  in golden letters in  the field of  blind welfare activities.  Taking into consideration of his remarkable contributions for the blind, the Blind Persons’ Association, Mumbai has instituted  an award in his memory  to be given every year to one of the blind persons who has excelled in his/her abilities or services.  This year the award was conferred to Dr (Ms) Kritica S Purohit, who obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy and registered as a first blind person in India in O T P T Council and  practicing as a successful Physiotherapist.   A citation and Cash Award were presented to her at the hands of the Chief Guest, Hon.Dr Shrikant Shinde.

On this occasion we felicitated Mr Kishor Gohil, a visually challenged person, who is conducting a well known Orchestra team and also a candle making unit, where 10 to 15 visually impaired people are employed.  Mr Prakash Pandagale, introduced Mr Gohil to the audience in glowing terms.  Mr  Gohil was felicitated at the hands of the Chief Guest with a letter of appreciation and a memento.

Thereafter,  the top most four winners of the Chess Tournament, conducted by the Association for the visually impaired persons,  on 25th  August, 2018, were also given away the certificates and cash prizes at the hands of the Chief Guest.

While addressing the audience, Hon. Dr Shinde, said that though he has  attended a number of functions, this was an entirely different experience.  He congratulated the award winner Dr Kritica Purohit  Mr Kishor Gohil and the winners of Chess Competition. He also appreciated the Association and its voluntary workers for their yeoman services.  He said that he is always ready to extend his full support and assistance  for conducting a medical camp or any other activities for the welfare of the blind community.


Finally , Mr Kiran Kadam, Vice President, proposed vote of thanks to  the Hon. Chief Guest, Mrs Vasudha Sahasrabudhe and her team and all the participants  for sparing their valuable time and making the programme a grand success.  The programme concluded with  National Anthem.  All the participants were served with tea and snacks before leaving the premises.