Mihir Ray, TNN Nov 27, 2011
ROURKELA: A mentally-challenged woman from the Steel City has bagged a prestigious national award in the outstanding creative adult person category. Rashmi Rekha Sahu (27) will receive the award from President Pratibha Patil at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on the occasion of World Disabled Day on December 3.
Sources said Pankaj Joshi, joint secretary in the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment, has written to Rashmi, informing her about her selection for the award in the female category. The award is presented every year to disabled persons on the occasion of World Disabled Day.
Following the news of the award on Friday, congratulations have been inundating Rashmi, who is at present undergoing vocational training at an institute for the physically and mentally challenged.
"We are extremely proud to learn about the selection of Rashmi Rekha Sahu for the coveted national award. She has brought laurels not only to our institute but also to the city and the state," said Narayan Pati, general manager, Corporate Social Responsibility and Town Service department of Rourkela Steel Plant, and general secretary of Home and Hope, the institute where Rashmi is undergoing training.
"Rashmi has been a student of Home and Hope from her childhood. She has already received several awards at the state and national level," Pati added.
Family sources said Rashmi has been a classical dancer and has performed at different places in the country. She participated in a national-level classical dance competition in Hyderabad in 2000, where she bagged the second prize. She is equally talented in sports, having won a gold medal in the 100-metre walk event and a bronze medal in the 100-metre-run event in the Special Olympics Games 2005, held in New Delhi.
For her overall achievement in sports and dance, the Indian Red Cross Society felicitated Rashmi in 2006. She also won the National Trust Award for the year 2006-07 from the ministry of social justice for her outstanding performance in sports and dance.
Rashmi's mother Subhangini Sahu said, "Rashmi is a bundle of joy for us. She has won laurels one after another. The way she has overcome her disability, is exemplary."
Reproduced from: The Times of India