Kolkata, 16th October, 2023: Disha Eye Hospitals, the largest eye care chain of Eastern India, today, hosted the 6th Edition of Disha Samman at GD Birla Sabhaghar. Dignitaries, Dr Pradeep Vyas, IFS (Retd.), Vigilance Commissioner, State Vigilance Commission, West Bengal, Padmashree, Ms Usha Uthup and former footballers and present coaches, Mohun Bagan SG, Mr Bastob Roy and Mr Abhra Mondal were present at the grand ceremony to confer the prestigious awards to Agriculturalist, Mr Joy Krishna Barik for his extraordinary service towards sustainability, Asansol Braille Academy for their contribution towards sightless individuals and Footballers, Ms Sangita Metya and Ms Pratima Ghosh for their contribution towards sports.
“This is the sixth edition of Disha Samman. The last five years’ journey has been immensely satisfying and successful. Disha Samman was mainly instituted to provide recognition to blind individuals who, with the spirit of courage, make remarkable contributions towards the society. It is our privilege to present the accolades to such real-life heroes who despite undergoing a challenging life rose above all the odds with their sheer determination and unending handwork. We also acknowledge the efforts of organisations who act as a beacon light for the visually impaired”, said Dr Debasish Bhattacharya, Chairman and Managing Director, Disha Eye Hospitals.
The first edition of Disha Samman was held in the year 2018. It was introduced as a philanthropic initiative to honour the exemplary contributions and achievements of visually challenged individuals and the organisations who work tirelessly to bring into the limelight such talents and ensure a better life for them.
The respective categories on the basis of which Disha Samman 2023 have been awarded are; ‘Excellence In Sustainability’, ‘Excellence In Social Welfare’ and ‘Excellence In Sports’. Disha Samman 2023 consisted of a plaque and a cash prize of 50,000 INR to each of the awardees and the organisation.
A special song titled ‘There’s A Sunshine That We Don’t See’ created for the occasion and sung by Ms Usha Uthup was launched. The song has been composed and written by a budding musician, Soham Sengupta. The additional Bengali lyrics are by Sreeraj Mitra. The music has been designed by ace musician Som Chakraborty.
Mr Joykrishna Barik is a blind agriculturalist from Kanthi, West Bengal. He received his training in agriculture, gardening and cultivation from Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy. Later, he started a nursery business and named the nursery as ‘Ramkrishna Sarada Maa’ nursery. Mr Barik received a state award in 2016 and 2022. Being blind, he has taken the initiative of running a nursery and providing saplings to various organisations, thereby creating a unique commitment for creating a ‘greener tomorrow’.
Asansol Braille Academy (ABA), the School unit of the Asansol Prevention Of Blindness Society, is a school for the blind, residential & Free from all charges, successfully running for the last 19 years in Asansol. Presently 30 students, from Jharkhand to Durgapur Steel Township and neighbouring districts of
West Bengal are residing and taking education. It is not a government-aided school and is purely run by the NGO, APBS.
Ms Sangita Metya, a blind girl from Bengal has represented the Indian team for the ‘World Championship of Blind Football’ that was held at Birmingham in the UK in August. India stood 4th in the tournament. The daughter of a sharecropper in Panskura, Sangita had been fighting against the odds since childhood. Even after cracking BEd and starting private tutorials, she was not able to join as a teacher. Later, she was picked up for the blind women’s team in Bengal and was selected team’s captain.
Ms Pratima Ghosh is blind since birth. A Nabadwip resident and the daughter of a daily labourer, she went through many hardships in life and now she is making Bengal proud. She also represented the Indian team for ‘World Championship of Blind Football’ that was held at Birmingham in the UK in August.