Winners of the DSFI Excellence Awards: Outstanding Self Advocate for Down Syndrome: Ms. Devanshi Joshi
Devanshi passed X from NIOS, Nagpur and XII from NIOS,New Delhi. Studied in Regular School from 1st till VIII, in Hindu Dnyanpeeth (Convent), Nagpur. She was adjudged Best Student of the year in 2006 by regular school she was studying. She has done various certificate courses in Photography, Dance, Music, Painting, Computer Operations and Yoga & Fitness. She is proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point & Excel and Computer operating. Devanshi participated in State and National Athletic competitions of Special Olympics & took part in various sports training.
She was brought up in totally Inclusive manner from early childhood which resulted in her overall personality & skills development, socialisation & confidence. Devanshi is independently working for nearly five years. She is working Full Time as Store Assistant at Gram Bharat since Nov. 2013. Prior to this, she worked at various exhibitions by National Trust and Swavalamban by MSJ&E. She is very hard working and punctual; always willing to learn new skills, for which she is often appreciated by all and rewarded by her Employers. She is very popular among customers and colleagues due to her loving and cheerful nature.
She is one of the few persons with DS to have passed XII; writing exams by herself. Devanshi is a very good example of how Early Intervention and Inclusive Education can help in achieving her potential to lead near independent life. She is active in Self Advocacy through SAFI and parents’ groups and motivational speaker at National Parents’ Meets of NIMH. She has been socially very active through forums like Rotary, Special Olympics and many other organisations. Devanshi delivered the Keynote address at Down Syndrome World Congress at Chennai, in Aug. 2015 on invitation of Down Syndrome International. Over 450 international delegates from 40+ countries had attended the event.
She was a resource person at WDS Day celebrations in 2014 and Badhte Kadam and has taken active part in many Awareness Programs of National Trust, including documentary films on Awareness. Devanshi is very loving and caring; especially to children and old age people. She donated computer to National Association for the Blind, New Delhi. She contributed her salary to School Fund after she started earning. She regularly participates in various competitions in Sports, Yoga, Dance, photography and social & cultural events. She works with her parents in counselling Young-New Parents regularly; resulting in ‘early acceptance’ & giving hope to hundreds of families across India.
She uses Social Media like Facebook and WhatsApp, effectively to connect & motivate other families & spread awareness about Disabilities and their Rights. She even exercises Adult Franchise by casting her vote in State and National Elections.
She has received the National Award as Best Employee, from the President of India on 3rd Dec 2016. She was felicitated by the Governor of Karnataka at 3rd National Convention of Self Advocates SAFI-PARIVAAR on 9th Dec. 2016 at Bangalore. Devanshi received national Stree Udyami Award in March 2016 and She was among 25 Women Achievers across India & only person with disability. She has many more awards to her credit.
As a recognition of her achievements, Devanshi is regularly invited by National Trust, National Level parents’ organizations and NIMH to motivate families & parents. Her brief life sketch and achievements are filmed in an award winning documentary - ‘Raising The Bar’ prepared by eMotions-21, Australia for Australian-Indian Film Festival, in Melbourne, Aug. 2016.
Winners of the DSFI Excellence Awards: Outstanding Efforts for the cause of Down Syndrome: Dr. Gurjit Kaur
Dr. Kaur is the Vice President of the Chandigarh Down Syndrome Society. She is a geneticist working in the GCMH Chandigarh as Associate Professor, Physiology. She is a pioneer in setting up prenatal screening program in Chandigarh.