AssisTech Foundation (ATF), India’s leading assistive technology ecosystem, is gearing up to launch AssisTech Foundation Awards (ATF Awards), the first of its kind award in India to recognize and celebrate groups and individuals, empowering over 1 Billion people with disability, to live better lives. To be hosted in Aug’21, the event aims to bring together startups, government, educational institutes, corporates, investors & NGOs and recognize their hard work in building a disabled-friendly world by leveraging assistive technology. The goal, to create a platform for shared experiences, shared knowledge, and a heightened sense of awareness, where intent and conversations translate into action.
The trophy of the initiative will be inaugurated by veteran Indian cricketer Mr. Rahul Dravid. He has been closely working with the ATF team on the initiative. The trophies have been designed by Titan and are based on the concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is the Zen Buddhism philosophy for a perfectly imperfect life. It signifies three marks of existence- embracing impermanence, suffering, and absence of self. The cracks in the middle of the trophies are seen as assets rather than flaws. It denotes making use of what is available instead of purchasing something which is not required.
The event will feature 10 awards, divided into three categories – emerging startups, established startups, and enablers. The awards include – Best Assistive Technology (AT) Startup for Innovation (Product/ Technology), Jury’s Choice for Best AT Startup, Best AT Start-Up: People’s Choice, Most impactful AT Startup, Women Ahead: Best Woman-led AT Startup, AT CSR initiative of the year, Best AT initiative among NGOs, Best Government AT Initiative, Best AT Investor of the Year, and Best AT Initiative among Educational Institutes. The participants can read the guidelines here and apply for the respective category from here.
Speaking ahead of the event, Prateek Madhav, Co-founder and CEO, AssisTech Foundation (ATF), said, “We are excited to roll out first-ever assistive technology awards in India and build a platform that brings to the fore issues of disability while celebrating people who have been instrumental in changing the narrative around the same. In the world, 1 out of 7 people suffers from some sort of disability, yet this segment is still much underserved. With the outbreak of Covid-19, that’s currently taking the world by storm, has further made basic amenities and access a distant reality for most people with disability; however, technology is playing an effective bridge in addressing the challenges of this group at scale. A platform like ATF Awards, not only helps propel awareness but also enables the ecosystem to cross-pollinate ideas and expertise, fulfilling the vision of a more inclusive and disabled-friendly world. We are honored that Mr. Rahul Dravid, who is also the director of National Cricket Academy (NCA) will be part of our inauguration. We are also pleased to share that the keynote address during the virtual award ceremony, will be given by Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, who is the principal scientific adviser (PSA) to the Government of India.”
Start-ups and Enablers (NGOs, Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR, Educational Institutes, Investors and Government departments) who have leveraged assistive technology to empower people with disabilities can nominate themselves to be considered for the award(s). Every nomination will go through rigorous multistage evaluation with a shortlist of the top 3 nominations being placed in-front of a distinguished jury. The jury will decide the winner for each category based on a predefined framework and criteria.
The jury and supporters of the event include eminent leaders and influencers such as Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan (Director, IIM Bangalore), Ravi Narayan (CEO, T-Hub), U. B. Pravin Rao (COO and Member of Board, Infosys), Shekhar Naik (Padma Shri Awardee & Former Captain of Indian Blind Cricket Team), and more.