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President Ram Nath Kovind today said that physically challenged people should be evaluated on their intellect, knowledge and courage, and not by their physical ability. The president was speaking at the 'National Award for Divyangjan, 2017' event organised on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Speaking at the event, Kovind cited various examples of physically challenged people, including mountaineers Arunima Sinha, para-olympians Deepa Malik, K M Maiyappan, who won laurels despite facing several challenges. He even mentioned one of the awardees, Tiffany Brar, in his speech. "Despite being 100 per cent physically challenged, she has been participating in sky diving, para gliding, cycling etc since her childhood. "She has attained knowledge of number of languages in her childhood and now she is part of number of social initiatives," he said. The president also alluded to the mythological figure of sage 'Astawarka', whose body was disfigured at eight points, and talked about how he impressed the gathering at the court of King Janak with his knowledge. "The government has enacted laws for the empowerment, inclusion and mainstreaming of differently-abled persons. No Divyang person should be evaluated by his or her physical ability, but by his or her intellect, knowledge and courage," he said while congratulating the winners of the award. According to a statement from the ministry, the national awards were presented in 14 main categories. "Four scrutiny committees constituted by the department as per the rules had scrutinised the nominations and their recommendations were considered by the National Selection Committee. "The National Selection Committee met on November 10 and 16 and recommended 52 persons/institutions for the awards," it said. It also added that out of the total 14 categories, 984 applications were received from 13 categories. The awards were organised by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
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