January 22, 2021

NASSCOM Foundation and Microsoft India in partnership with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities | India Education,Education News India,Education News


New Delhi: NASSCOM Foundation and Microsoft India in partnership with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Science & Technology (DST), and ERNET today announced the winners of ‘Innovate for an Accessible India‘(IAI)-a pan India initiative that fosters innovative use of technology to address problems faced by Persons with Disabilities.

IAI is a unique platform that brings together technologists, innovators and other stakeholders involved in accessibility and assistive technologies to work towards a truly inclusive India.

Eleven winners were chosen from amongst 3000+ innovative solutions in the areas of education, skills and livelihood, mobility, health and e-governance. This also includes two winners for a special AI for Good Awards from across all categories.

The winners have been chosen from both early stage start-ups and established organization categories and will get catalytic grants of INR 5 lakh and 10 lakh each respectively. All the winners will also be supported with customized industry mentorship and Microsoft cloud and tech support to scale their innovations.

Here are the list of winners:

Category Segment Name of the Project/Innovation Name of the Organization
Mobility Early Kickstart Gati: An electric vehicle and that easily accommodates a wheelchair when needed Kickstart Services Private Limited
Mobility Established NeoFly: Wheelchairs with push rim design that enable movement of 2-5 times the distance on a single push and NeoBolt: Motorised add-on for independent long distance mobility. NeoMotion Assistive Solutions Pvt Ltd
Education & AI for Good (special award) Early NURTURING DIFFERENT LEARNERS: a validated easy to use screening tool for parents to ensure early identification of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in children Blink Foundation + NIEPMD [National Institute for Empowerment of People with Multiple Disabilities]
Education Established HEXIS: a six-dot portable, battery based, low cost electronic Braille book reader to be the means to disseminate accessible and high quality content to students with blindness Vembi Technologies Private Limited
Education* Early – Special Mention E-Vision:  a Low cost interactive Braille Tablet (around Rs.5000) which enables the visually challenged to not just understand/ visualize how images and other forms of Pictorial data like graphs, pictures, diagrams, drawings, charts, maps, etc looks like but also intercact with them. Student
Education* Established – Special Mention Development and dissemination of tactile graphics eg: textbooks, concept-based books, storybooks, learning manuals and learning aids eg: colouring kits, geometry kits, drawing boards, 3D models, accessible print Raised Lines Foundation – IIT Delhi Technopark-ITEC
E-governance & Access Early Cluster Trainnig Modal: Creation of standards for accessible premises available to a potentially large number of organizational users through an app. Vidya Bhawan Society and v-Shesh
E-governance & Access Established A mobile app that provides live interpretation of speech in Indian Sign Language (ISL) to enable seamless communication between a hearing impaired and a hearing person SignAble Communication Private Limited
Health Early Splinter Band: A wearable for autistic people, that reads and helps convey any emotional or physiological change. Globsol Innovation Labs Pvt Ltd
Health Established A novel device & system to screen newborns for hearing loss to prevent speech loss & disability in resource poor settings. Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt. Ltd. & VAANI, Deaf Children’s Foundation (Trust)
Skilling and Livelihood Early MyDost:  A beacon/s based engine that helps people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) through mobile based audio/visual or text based instruction of the tasks when they come close to any user equipments. V-shesh Leaning Services Pvt Ltd
Skilling and Livelihood Established Inclusive Divyangjan 2.0: An app to unify all the relevant information and services a Divyang individual will make use of in her/his life. Inclusive Divyangjan Entrepreneur Association
AI4Good (special award) Early ScreenPlay – A digital game-based screening tool for autism Kidaura Innovations Pvt. Ltd.

* Special Mentions – Will not receive catalytic grants.

AI for Good awards are separate and will be given additional INR 5 Lakh in catalytic grants

Details of all winning innovations and ideas can be accessed from https://iai.nasscomfoundation.org/

Mr. Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, ““With over 1 billion people with disabilities around the world, we have the opportunity and responsibility to create inclusive technology that works for all. The mission of Innovate for Accessible India is to design technology that empowers people of all abilities. We are incredibly proud to support this program and the winners as they create and scale innovations for India to be more inclusive, affordable and accessible for people with disabilities. Now more than ever, it is critical for the public and private sectors to come together, creating equal opportunity and access for everyone.

Mr. Ashok Pamidi, CEO – NASSCOM Foundation said, “With Innovate for an Accessible India, one of our critical goals was to encourage more tech innovators to take up the cause of Persons with Disabilities. With us receiving a record 3000+ applications in the first year itself, we are incredibly thrilled with the innovation potential and intent towards the sector.”

He further added, “On the eve of International day of Persons with Disabilities, we hope to present these innovations to all of India’s 2.7 Cr PwDs. We will also support the innovations to scale-up fast through catalytic grants and industry mentorship. We are grateful to our partners Microsoft to provide such encouragement to all innovators working in the accessibility space and are thankful to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dept. of Technology and ERNET to support this initiative wholeheartedly.”

The winners were selected by a jury of industry stalwarts, domain thought leaders and policy makers as below:

Categories Juror Name Organisation Designation
Mobility Anita Narayan Iyer Ekansh Founder
Shilpi Kapoor Barrier Break Founder
Vinayak Hedge Microsoft India CTO
Health Dr Neena Pahuja ERNET Ex Director General
Anita Gupta DST NEB Head
Reena Dayal Yadav Microsoft India Principal Program Manager, The Garage R&D team,
Education Ashutosh Chaddha MasterCard Vice President & Head Public Policy and Government Affairs South Asia at Mastercard
Tarika Roy DEPwD Joint Secretary
Ira Singhal Department of Women and Child Development Deputy Director, IAS
Skilling and Livelihood Jaikant Singh SCPwD CSO, NSDC
Kiran DM ONGC Foundation CEO
Meenu Bhambani State Street Vice President, Head of Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity, APAC at State Street
Shri  Rajan Sehgal NHFDC Chairman, MD
B.K Chakravarthy IDC, IIT Bombay Institute Chair Professor
E Governance and Accessibility Bharat Bhushan Tiwari ERNET Sr. Director
Vikash Prasad DEPwD Sr. Director
Rakesh Paladugula Adobe System a11y Product Manager
Nixon Joseph SBI Foundation CEO
Dipesh Sutariya Enable India Fouder and CEO
Artificial Intelligence For Good Award Rohini Srivathsa Microsoft India National CTO
Snehanshu Mitra NASSCOM Head – CoE, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence @ NASSCOM
Ramanan Ramnathan Niti Ayog MD ATL & Additional Secretary at NitiAyog



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