While Pragya Prasun works towards personal counselling and generating a permanent source of regular income for all Acid-Attack Survivors, Rakshita Shekhar has extensive experience as a teacher in both general education and special education. Similarly trying to empower persons with disabilities – are Santosh Vani, who recognised the need to create awareness on haemophilia; and a role-model for Deaf community, Sunil Sahasrabudhe holds a diploma in teaching teachers and interpreters in Indian Sign Language. The ‘Know your Purple Ambassadors’ series continues…
PURPLE AMBASSADORS – Part 4
Pragya Prasun is an ‘Acid-Attack Survivor’, a social worker, an activist for women’s rights, and a recipient of the prestigious Naari Shakti award from the President of India. Pragya has been striving to provide relief and rehabilitation to her fellow Acid Attack and Burn survivors for almost a decade now. She has been coordinating with eminent doctors/ hospitals from across the country for medical advice and treatment. She also works towards personal counselling and generating a permanent source of regular income for all survivors who are in need. Pragya is the founder of “Atijeevan Foundation” an NGO that, apart from facilitating free-of-cost surgeries and other non-surgical procedures, also provides avenues for income generation to several Acid Attack and Burn survivors. She is also an honorary advisor of a few NGOs and Social welfare communities.
Rakshita Shekhar is a person with Autism. She is an educator and consultant for disability rights organisations and schools. She has a master’s in intellectual and developmental disabilities from the University of Kent, UK. She has extensive experience as a teacher in both general education and special education. She is a member of two international advocacy organisations: neuroclastic.com and universal design for learning: special interest group. She has also presented at multiple national and international conferences and authored research papers in esteemed journals. She is passionate about pedagogy, autism and inclusion. Her approach is centered around developing good mental health in disabled children. She ardently advocates for autistic children and adults through her poetry, essays, talks, and training programs. She is the first openly autistic person in South Asia to be nominated as a board member of an autism charity – Action for Autism. She hopes to teach the society that they can and must rely on disabled people to solve the world’s biggest problems. She dreams of a world where all live and let live.
Santosh Vani was diagnosed from bleeding disorder called Haemophilia A (Factor VIII deficiency in blood). He underwent several months of physiotherapy and medication. He recognised the need to create awareness on haemophilia, the challenges and the solutions for people with haemophilia and has been working as an advocate for several years. He works closely with multiple organisations on state and national level to connect the community members with the appropriate stakeholders.
A well-known leader and role-model for the Deaf community in India, Sunil Sahasrabudhe holds a number of academic degrees from universities in the UK. He also holds a diploma in teaching teachers and interpreters in Indian Sign Language. In the past 15 years, he has made significant contributions to the fields of sign language and deaf education. He has held a variety of positions, including those of English language instructor, master trainer for interpreters and instructors of Indian Sign Language, coordinator of the interpretation programme, researcher, and coach for deaf teenagers’ advocacy and leadership.
He has also taught renowned actors in movies sign language. Now, through his partnership firm SIGNEX, of which he is the co-founder and CEO, he provides consulting services connected to sign language and deaf education to numerous commercial organisations as well as NGOs. At present, he is the elected President of All India Federation of the Deaf (AIFD), New Delhi for the period 2022-2026, the apex body which is affiliated to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).