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Young Achiever Award 2009 winner
Pavitra Chalam wins UK film award.

The Young Achiever Award was instituted by Brigade Group and Rotary Bangalore Midtown in 2006 to recognise and encourage the efforts of young achievers in Karnataka.

Many of our winners have gone on to win more awards and accolades. The most recent among these is Pavitra Chalam, who a joint winner in 2009 for her sensitive, culturally significant and awareness-raising social documentary films. We are delighted at her latest achievement:

City girl bags UK's AMI film award First Indian To Win Contest

Bangalore: Film maker Pavitra Chalam from Bangalore has been awarded the Ability Media Film and Video International Award by Leonard Cheshire Disability for her film Khushboo.

Awarded in London on November 21, Pavitra is the first Indian to receive an award at the Ability Media International (AMI).

Pavitra, student of Frank Anthony Public School and Mount Carmel College, was chosen by the judges for creative excellence. Her promotional film for the NGO Khushboo Welfare Society depicts the importance of streamlining children with special needs into mainstream society and how the NGO, based out of Gurgaon, is striving towards this goal.




An inspiring story of two remarkable Young Achievers …and their meeting with a third.

The winners of the fourth annual Young Achiever Award were announced at a function held at the MLR Convention Centre on 23 October 2009. After presenting prizes to joint winners Pavitra Chalam and Aaron D’Souza, Chief Guest Pankaj Advani (World Champion in Snooker and Billiards) announced that the jury had exercised their discretion and decided to further award three special prizes.
One was to Team Endeavour, a group of engineering students from Hubli, who had successfully developed a training tool that treats gait disorders caused by neuromuscular, arthritic or other body changes. The other award winners were two young men who redefine the meaning of friendship and achievement: Ashwin Karthik and Bharath.

A profile in courage…
Ashwin Karthik, born with the most severe form of cerebral palsy, is a quadriplegic. But determination, resilience and optimism have enabled him to achieve what few imagined he could: he has passed the SSLC with the highest percentage ever scored by a student with cerebral palsy and, with the assistance of a National Scholarship (awarded to just one physically challenged student across the entire country), was the the first quadriplegic cerebral palsy student in India to have become an engineering graduate. Today Ashwin is a computer science engineer and works with Mphasis.

Sachin meets Young AchieversAshwin (seated) and Bharath with Sachin when they met
on April 18 in Bangalore
 (Photograph: Bangalore Mirror)

…and another in selflessness
Embedded in Ashwin’s story is another equally inspiring one: that of his childhood friend Bharath. Ashwin’s physical disabilities made writing impossible and he needed a scribe to write his engineering examinations. Bharath offered to do the needful, despite the fact that it involved a difficult choice—a scribe cannot be an engineering student or an engineer and Bharath was studying engineering. Bharath opted to give up his studies to help Ashwin successfully pursue his. When Ashwin graduated and got a job, he encouraged and assisted Bharath in resuming college. Bharath successfully earned his degree and now works with a private company.

Ashwin’s three heroes
Who does a hero like Ashwin’s regard as heroes? Apart from Bharath, he names three: his mother, always an unwavering support; celebrated British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who never let his neuro-degenerative disease limit him; and Sachin Tedulkar, who has “made a billion people happy...and made each one of us feel proud to be an Indian”. Ashwin hopes to emulate “at least a fraction of what Sachin has done for the spirit of his countrymen”.

Robin Uthappa’s role in our story
Brigade Group owns a T-20 KPL cricket team, Bangalore Brigadiers, in which Robin Uthappa is a player. It so happened that Robin attended the Young Achiever Awards ceremony and was deeply touched by the story of Ashwin and Bharath. He met them and learnt that they were both cricket fans. And, like most of the world, great fans of Sachin Tendulkar. When Robin next met the iconic sportsman, he told him their story.

Good things do happen to good people
Next time Tendulkar was in town—to be precise, on April 18 for an IPL match—he arranged to meet both Ashwin and Bharath. They were invited to the ITC Gardenia hotel, where Tendulkar spent an hour talking with them. He introduced them to the rest of the Mumbai Indians team. He also gave Ashwin and Bharath his phone number and told them to stay in touch.

It is debatable who gained more from the meeting. According to Uthappa, Tendulkar was moved and inspired in a way he seldom has been before. And if Ashwin feels Tendulkar has made “a billion people happy’; Tendulkar believes their story is one in a billion.


Based on an article in Bangalore Mirror
Sunday, August 01, 2010

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Everything has beauty
but not everyone sees it.
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