Ekalavya Awardee, AAB’s Belgaumite of the year and well known Para Swimmer from Belagavi Raghavendra Ananvekar was today awarded the National Sports Award for Best Sports person disability for the year 2014. The said award was awarded at Rashtrapati Bhavan at the auspicious hands of Honorable President of India Shri Pranab Mukharjee.
Raghvendra represented India more than 8 times and won 28 International Medals and more than 50 National Medals in his credit. His highest achievement was at last Asian Para Games where he won Bronze Medal to the nation.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Pranab Mukherjee said –
The main objective of this initiative was to promote a worldwide understanding of the issues connected with disability and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disabled persons. It was felt that such worldwide focus would encourage proactive efforts of the international community for the integration of the disabled in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. It is entirely appropriate that the people of India should mark this date by honouring the selfless individuals among us and the altruistic organisations in our country who have generously worked for the empowerment of the disabled in our society.
Ladies and Gentlemen, many among us must be wondering what they can do to make a difference : to them I would quote the words of Swami Vivekananda who said, “Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested”. I would remind each one of you to recognise that there is a great potential within each differently abled man, woman or child. It is our duty, as a progressive society, to empower them to fully realize it.