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 Diksha Dinde - National Youth Awardee 

Date of Publish - Monday, 29th January 2018

I'm Diksha Dinde, 24 year old student activist from Pune, India.

In December 2015, around one year before the parliament of India passed 'Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016', Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the term 'Divyanga' (Divine body) instead of 'Viklang' to describe persons with disability.

As a young activist fighting for disability rights that time, I wonder how much difference that would make for me personally & for the differently-abled people in this country. The Prime Minister wanted a paradigm shift in the way nation treats its differently-abled population, including me. But for 2.6 million differently-abled people of India (2.21% of the population), it was a distant dream because of government inefficiency & social stigma. 

At the very starting stage of my life I've been rejected by schools due to lack of accessible infrastructure. And this has happened many times, whether it's taking a part in any activity or competition. Accessibility is still the crucial issue in India which is a developing country. Recently Government of India has started Accessible India Campaign, I hope that it will give rise to more opportunities in every field for the persons with disabilities. Such people, who are otherwise sidelined, will get mainstream opportunities. It will sensitize other people as well.

As I started working on the ground, I realized the situation was more or less same for underprivileged children & young women of India. I made advocacy of differently-abled people's rights implementation, the welfare of underprivileged children & promotion of menstrual hygiene focus of my activism in areas of Pune district. What I think is, Ignorance can be a cause of suffering for future generations. And for that matter we need to fight against all odds.
My five years of activism was recognized on the international level when I was appointed as a Global Youth Ambassador of A World At School, supported by United Nations, under 'Education for All' initiative. I know that there is a lot needs to be done on ground to deliver social and economic justice in the communities, I am working for which was promised to them by the Constitution of India. 

I am focused on providing education to children and improving health conditions of the girls, where teenage girls and women empowered on issues around menstrual management, reproductive health rights and life skills which they will use to reduce their vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation. 

The experience derived from running the school for child beggars & underprivileged children in Pune made me realise that how crucial accessible infrastructures are for differently-abled people and underprivileged children. I hope my positive contributions spurs a wave of change in the welfare of communities. 

I believe, if change has to achieved, the delivery edge in grassroot has to be sharpened. Education is the only key to Social change. I have a dream to reach to those who are ignored by the society just because they do not fit in. I feel that there will be a day when people adapt the values of inclusiveness, tolerance and acceptance irrespective of their caste, sex, or religion and to create an equal society.

At the end, I just want to say one thing. Just step outside the world you are living in. Explore your hidden self. Magic happens when you are out of your comfort zone. :)


I'm affiliated with the following organizations-

*Global Youth Ambassador of A World At School (2016 to 2020)- The A World at School Global Youth Ambassador programme is a global network of young people campaigning in their schools, communities and countries for action to get every child into school and learning. 
I am a part of this global movement of young people working to get every child in school and learning.
I've committed to speak up and take an action for education in my community.

*Nehru Yuva Corp of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan(NYKS)- NYKS is an autonomous body of Government of India, which comes under Ministry of Youth and Sports. 
Its objective was to engage rural youth to take part in the process of nation building as well as providing opportunities for the development of their personality and skills. Over the years, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has established a network of youth clubs in villages across the country. The core strength of NYKS lies in its network of youth clubs. Youth Clubs are village based organizations working for community development and youth empowerment. Nation first, character must is the motto of NYKS.


Awards and Achievements-

Following are the Awards and Achievements I've received :

  • 2016 January- Awarded as ’The Inspirational Person’, an award specially designed for differently abled persons by LEO Club of Pune and EPIC.
  • 2016 February- Awarded as a ‘Young Achiever’ by Pune Municipal Corporation. 
  • 2016 September- Awarded Youngest Achiever Of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Govt. Of India. 
  • 2016 October- Received an award at the hands of Naseema Hurzuk for the work of differently abled.
  • 2017 January- Received an award as a Social Engineer at the hands of Hon. A. K. Singh Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
  • Received 'State Youth Award' by Government of Maharashtra. 
  • Received Social Architect Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.  
  • Received Best Delegate Award at the Asia Pacific Future Leaders Conference, Malaysia.
  • Received National Youth Award by the Government of India. 

International event participation-

Last month in December, I got an opportunity to attend Asia Pacific Future Leaders Conference on youth leadership at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

I learned many new things throughout my journey as this was my first International tour, and that too ALONE. As a person with disabilities, I never went outside my home and city due to the lack of accessible infrastructure. One person either from my family or friends always accompany me for getting things done in my day to day activities.

On my way to Malaysia, the airport authority detained me to enter in the aircraft because of my disability. That time, I was alone at the airport, they asked me to call my parents and go back. I had to fight with them for my rights. And I made it. I convinced them about how it's important for me to attend this conference as an Indian delegate. And then they agreed to send me alone. 

During this conference, I've presented a Sustainable model for inclusive and accessible education with the consideration of sustainable development goal no 4, i.e. quality education.


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