Dr. Rajendra T. Vyas (27 December 1929 – 29 August 2010) born in an affluent, educated and esteemed family in Mumbai went blind at the age of 12 year due to an eye ailment but continued his School and College education with the active support of his parents, siblings and peer groups. He completed his graduation and further took a degree in law. He was development officer of the National Association for the Blind, India [NAB] for 11 years and then joined Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, London as Asia director where he worked for 21 years. On his initiative, some like minded blind persons came together and formed Blind Men’s Association on 19 October 1947, which is now known as Blind Persons’ Association [BPA]. He served BPA and NAB in his honorary capacity on various posts.
After his demise, BPA has instituted an award to be conferred on student performing excellence in the academic career other than regular streams. The award was started in the year 2011-2012.Up till now we have given this award to three students.
First award was conferred on Ms. Anuja Sankhe, in the year 2011-2012, for her Post Graduation in Communication & Journalism, a new challenging field for the blind.
In 2012-2013, the award was conferred on Ms. Ashmira Hamirani and Mr. Ekinath Khedekar.
Ms. Hamirani, a visually impaired post-graduate from TISS, got a fellowship for the project “Pahal” under which she works with women prisoners at Bengaluru while Mr. Ekinath Khedekar, a visually impaired law graduate and Master in Management studies presently works as a Sr.Manager at Reliance Industries as a Finance-regulatory professional.
In 2014-2015, Ms. Jidnyasa Patil , a visually impaired girl, was given this award , who in spite of vision impairment secured M.Tech Degree from V.J.T.I. Matunga, Mumbai.
In 2015-2016, Mr. Prashant Naik was awarded Dr.R.T.Vyas Memorial award for his stupendous contribution in the field of Access Technology in spite of his vision impairment by birth.
In 2016-17, Mrs. Pranjal Patil was presented this award for being the first visually impaired girl to pass the most coveted Civil Service Examination in the first attempt.