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CHAI hosts the 2019 Mary Glowrey – Liliane Brekelmans Disability Award

The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) in partnership with the Liliane Fonds (LF), Netherlands organized the Mary Glowrey Liliane Brekelmans (MGLB) 2019 Disability Award on 29th August 2019 at the CHAI Training Center, Secunderabad.

The awards are instituted to honour exemplary work in the field of disability by individuals and organizations. The award function was held in conjunction with satellite events to advocate towards the cause of the disability including a National Consultative Workshop and a resource mobilization training for partner organizations of the project.   CHAI in partnership with LF has empowered over 33000 children and youth living with disability in the past 25 years. To mark this occasion and the platinum jubilee of CHAI in reaching the unreached since 1943, CHAI and LF instituted the MGLB awards. The awards are instituted in two categories; for individuals and for organizations who are role models in the field of disability. The awards are instituted separately for nominees from CHAI network and from outside the CHAI network.

Nominations were invited through the website from across the nation – for organizations and individuals. Over 100 nominations were received across the four categories for a cumulative prize amount of Rs. 6 lakhs.

The prizes were awarded in the individual category to Badugu Subbayamma from CHAI network and Dr. Satendra Singh from outside CHAI network. The prizes were awarded in the institutional category to Kottayam Social Service Society from CHAI network and Enable India from outside the CHAI network.

Sr. Victoria Narisetti JMJ, President of CHAI inaugurated the award function. The event was graced by dignitaries including Ms. Balalatha, member of the Indian Defense Services and a renowned trainer for civil services aspirants, Mr. Steven Hendrik Berdenis van Berlekom, Executive Director, LF and Mr. Frank Bron, Organizational Development Advisor, LF. A spectrum of disability stakeholders was present, including nationwide experts from disability organizations, partners from the disability program, individuals and children living with disability and disability advocates from across the country.

The award ceremony was interspersed with spirited song and dance performances by children and youth with disabilities. The ceremony closed with a vote of thanks from Fr. Mathew Abraham, Director General, CHAI with a renewed vigour and enthusiasm to work towards the cause of disability among all participants.

Satellite Events

Resource Mobilization Training for Disability Partners
A two-day training workshop was held for the partners in the CHAI-LF disability program. Over 60 participants engaged in group work with facilitation from expert trainers to discuss the dwindling resources in the disability sector and novel modes of resource mobilization. This includes tapping corporate resources, techniques in grant writing and local sourcing.

National Consultative Workshop on Disability
To advocate for the cause of disability, identify gaps and opportunities in the disability sector, CHAI organized a one-day national consultative workshop. 41 experts from across the nation discussed and brainstormed the country profile and situation of disability. Key issues deliberated included the lack of reliable prevalence data, the state of policy and legislation including the Rights of Disabled Persons Act (RPDA) 2016 and the upcoming Niti Ayog strategy.
Criteria were formulated and nominations invited to form a core group to take the next steps and recommendations forward. The workshop concluded with a resolution to act on a united front with a single voice to enable the people living with disability to be heard.

“My disability has opened my eyes to see my true abilities” 

– Robert M Hensel

CHAI has been working in the area of Disability for over 25 years. The MGLB Awards and the advocacy workshop are significant milestones in this journey as we look to a future with greater reach and accessibility. With our mandate of “Leaving No One Behind”, CHAI and its partners will continue to work in this area with renewed vigour and greater strength.