Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit appealed to the young generation to take persons like Mariyappan Thangavelu and other persons with disabilities who have achieved big, as their role models and follow them.
“Stephen Hawking, the astrophysicist who passed away recently, used to say that ‘‘disability need not be an obstacle to success’’. He was speaking from personal experience. Hawking himself had a motor-neuron disease for a large part of his adult life. But it did not prevent him from becoming a famous astrophysicist,” he said speaking at the inauguration of ‘Rehabasics’ – a medical conference and book release function of ‘Text Book of Rehabilitation’ organised by a foundation, Freedom Trust.
Mr. Purohit also gave examples of stalwarts such as Padmashri Gayathri Sankaran, musician; Aiswarya J. Anuradha, winner of wheelchair race in Chennai and K. Radhabai, first visually-impaired woman to receive a Ph. D degree in South India. “They have never let any form of disability come in the way of success and have left an unforgettable mark in their respective fields,” he said.
“It has been estimated that more than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability. Of these, nearly 200 million people experience considerable difficulties in their day to day activities,” Mr. Purohit said. With regard to India as per the Census of 2011, there are about 27 million people living with some form of disability. These include persons with visual, hearing, speech, movement, mental retardation, mental illness and other disabilities, he said.
Mr. Purohit also released a book on rehabilitation authored by S. Sunder, founder and managing Trustee, Freedom Trust and the first copy was received by Sudha Seshayyan, Vice Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sudha Seshayyan thanked the Governor for his guidance. “Your guidance calls for non-corrupt, transparent, accountable and visionary administration. I should tell you sir, (the guidance) as kept this University in a good step and I shall re-delegate myself and all the services of the staff of the University today once again to this cause of bringing up the standards of medical education in this part of the world,” she said.
Dr. Seshayyan also pointed out that rehabilitation is an area of magic,that rejuvenates the unfortunate, a magic that brings happiness to the depressed and magic that spins life in the colours of joy and health.
K. N.Ramaswamy, Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai Kendra, E. N. Murthy, Board member, Freedom Trust and other dignitaries also were present on the occasion.