IIT Delhi alumnus Ankita Gulati won the National Disability Award for Working Professionals for her device called TouchVision. The device narrates the content in the picture when a visually-impaired person touches it.
Ms. Rama Devi, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, presided over the 10th edition of the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awardswhich was held on August 14 at India International Centre in New Delhi.
A national award-winning scientist, Ankita chose assistive technology for her master's thesis, which gave her the base to build this product.
Describing her innovation, Ankita says, "a foldable stand is used to position a smartphone camera for scanning tactile material and pointer ring on user's index finger is used to read the text. The smartphone through an app provides simultaneous audio to the user as per index finger's location. Label and description of the diagrams are narrated based on different finger gestures performed by the user."
Arman Ali, Executive Director of NCPEDP addressed the gathering at the award ceremony and said, "Without accessibility, inclusion is impossible. Some of the ideas that have won this year are so futuristic that it gives us hope. We need to take the message to smaller towns and districts that accessibility is beyond just building a ramp.
Addressing the audience, Ms. Rama Devi said that it was necessary to change the paradigm and make sure that Persons with Disability have access to independence and livelihoods.
Nipun OS, AVP Corp Social Responsibility of Mphasis added "we must scale up the innovations that have emerged today so that a large number of persons with disabilities can benefit."
A total of 14 awards were given away.
Persons with disability awards were given away to Aneesh Karma of BETiC IIT Bombay, Nekram Upadhyay from New Delhi and Rajesh Ketkar from Vadodara,Gujarat.
Awards for working professionals were given away to Rajni Kant Singh of LEPRA Society-Bihar, Prashant Gade of Inali Foundation- Madhya Pradesh Kunal Prasaad of the XL Cinema Mumbai and Ankita Gulati of IIT Delhi.
Awards for corporations were given to Bleetech Pvt Ltd (Mumbai, Maharashtra), SM Learning Skills Academy for Special Needs Private Limited (Gurgaon,Haryana), National Institute of Open Schooling (Noida), Big Bazaar- Future Retail (Mumbai,Maharashtra)and Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited, (Bengaluru, Karnataka).
The Javed Abidi Public Policy Award was given to Ms. Smitha Santhakumari Sadasivan who has been consulting with Election Commission of India on accessible electoral process for all citizens with disabilities, collaborating with Public Works Department (PWD) etc.
A special Jury Award was given to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, for its pioneering work in making television accessible to people with hearing disability.
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