Disable Welfare Trust of India

About

Kanubhai H. Tailor

The story revolves around the mission and vision of ‘A Man on the Wheel’ with an undying spirit and will, whose singulars efforts have transformed the lives of many physically challenged humans of the city of Surat, the state of Gujarat and the great nation of India. Kanubhai Tailor was born in a small village Adas, in Anand Taluka of Kheda District on 17-5-1956, in a poverty-stricken and a superstitious family. Childhood poliomyelitis victimized him as he did not have access to quality medical treatment for this dreaded disease. Accepting the challenges of life as it came, he literally dragged himself to school for his basic education. Gradually crawling towards his destiny, he later joined the Apang Manav Mandal and the Sahajanand Arts & Commerce College in Ahmedabad for his higher studies. Facing lot of hardships in every moment of his life, made him realize the miseries attached with his own life and that of millions of similar lesser blessed mortals, who were living the life of destitution. This period of deep anguish and empathetic thoughts changed the attitude of his life, mission and destiny

In 1979 Kanubhai went on a hunger strike for eleven days with a protest to allow bus traveling free of cost for the disabled. The Gujarat Government bowed & came to terms and today thousands of disabled in Gujarat are availing this benefit for which Kanubhai had borne the pain & agony. This success was a beginning in the life of this little champion to fight for respectability and right for the Disabled.

Having gained in confidence, this young adult shifted to Surat in 1985 for more greener pastures. Economically still weak and with no family support he slept on the footpath and finally made his dwelling in a hutment in Surat. Here he met Mr.H.S.Kohli who encouraged him to start his own business. Kanubhai started off his entrepreneurial venture with a printing press in this very hutment. Here he used to train the disabled in this trade to make them self-dependent & self-sufficient. He always felt that the sufferings that he had undergone should not be borne by his fellow brethren.

In appreciation of his noble deeds for the disabled he received recognition in the form of an award as the "Best Employer" from the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt.of Gujarat, "Best Person" and "Gujarat Gaurav" awards from the state. He is also a recipient of more than 40 (Forty) National and International awards including the prestigious "President's Award".

His indomitable spirit and his inclination to voice out for the disabled made him form an NGO in the name and form of "Disable Welfare Trust of India", in the year 1991. This he thought would be instrumental in creating a platform from where he could offer a basket of services to the underprivileged disabled persons, like education, training and rehabilitation.

In the past 10 years Kanubhai has achieved what he had dreamt off. He has waded his path with dignity and glory. He began his journey with head held high, never looking back, touched by an inner radiance that illuminates the journey ahead, translating intangible aspirations in to very tangible achievements.

His concern for thousands of his brethrens and his ardent desire to pull them out of their miseries, made him spend sleepless nights. He wished to do some miracle to transform the lives of such physically disabled persons and make their lives honorable. However, bereft of economic resources and social support for the cause, his only ammunition was his vision and will power.>

Tired and exhausted of his state of destitute, he decided go all alone and start something on a very small scale. His destiny brought him to the city of Surat in Gujarat in 1985, where he slept on the footpath initially and thereafter gathered courage to make his dwelling in a hutment. The city of Surat, called the City of Entrepreneurs, gave him the much needed courage to go alone and start his ‘One Man Mission’. He started his entrepreneurial venture the ‘Viklang Bandhu Printing Press’ (literal meaning - the Printing Press for Physically Handicapped Brethrens). His early days passed in the struggle to survive but the dedicated perseverance of his mission generated some business and opportunity to train several disabled people in the trade of printing. This was just a beginning of his long journey of making thousands of disabled people self reliant.

The initial success gave a fresh breath to the spirit of Shri Kanubhai and he started working for the medical upliftment of his brethrens. With the cooperation of some NGO’S and philanthropist doctors, he started identifying physically challenged people who stood a good chance of getting healed after a corrective surgery and supportive aids like calipers, crutches, sticks, tricycles, wheelchairs, etc. He organized several camps for identifying such people, to provide them free of cost treatment, including surgeries and aids to raise their self esteem to gel well with the mainstream society.

With the passage of time simultaneous activities like vocational training to physically handicapped persons and rehabilitation of disabled persons through medical treatment made Kanubhai more involved in this very field, where he started various awareness drives by means of rallies on the World Disable Days and arranging various seminars on this very issue.

Kanubhai's indomitable spirit and his passion to fight for the disabled made him form an NGO "Disable Welfare Trust of India" in 1991 to educate, train and rehabilitate this underprivileged section of people.

He started a school in 1997 with 4 children in a small premise leased by the Surat Municipal Corporation with ample support from some compassionate public functionaries like MPs, MLAs, State Ministers and the Mayor. The indefatigable efforts of Shri Kanubhai and his team of trustees gradually brought the number of disabled students to hundreds. With the increase in numbers the Trust was constrained to seek a new and larger venue to accommodate all the students. Appreciating the progress of the school and the spirit of the trust, the Surat Municipal Corporation leased the Trust a piece of land admeasuring 4500 sq. yds to build a Barrier-free state of the art school building, fully conforming to the provisions of the Disability Act of 1995. What else was required to recognize the work of the institution and to encourage this noble activity, when the erstwhile Hon’ble Vice-President of India laid down the foundation stone of the building and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat inaugurated the building?

His noble endeavors were also recognized by many corporate houses such as Reliance Industries Ltd., L&T, ONGC, NTPC, GAIL, KRIBHCO, SHELL, GSFC, GNFC, GSPL, Torrent Power & an NGO P.N.Hariani Foundation from Mumbai apart from several local industrialists, philanthropists and voluntary organizations who made munificent donations for the construction of nearly 35,000 sq feet of usable area for school and hostel.

The school provides free of cost services like education from Class - 1 to 12th, transportation, text-books, note-books, pens, pencils, school bags, uniform, snacks-lunch, medical and physiotherapy treatment to 400 children hailing mostly from the slum areas. Physically challenged girls from the rural areas are given free of cost lodging and boarding facilities at the hostel. The thousands of students who have passed out from this institution are successfully pursuing courses in Medical Science, Engineering, Dentistry, Pharmacy, pure sciences, Commerce and Arts.

The vision behind this school is not just to impart formal education but to create a learning environment conducive to nurturing the learners and educators to be creative, interdependent, empathic, sensitive, capable, and responsible citizens with highest quality of national character. The efforts are to align them socially and make them environmentally conscious individuals, charged with entrepreneurial spirit and global outlook. To inculcate these intrinsic values he intends to make the learning process a challenging, rewarding and joyful experience, impart a liberal education with emphasis on collaborative learning, problem solving skills, co-operation, mutual respect and sense of responsibility.

The efforts of the institution are to provide equal opportunities to the disabled and focus on their ability and not disability. The focus is to concentrate on the residual abilities of the disabled and convert them into the capabilities by imparting training in various vocations with the underlying intention of making them self reliant economically and raise their self esteem for eventual inclusion in the mainstream society.

The natural sense of responsibility to rehabilitate physically handicapped persons, does not stop in simply educating them, but the institution works very hard to procure jobs for these disabled beneficiaries in corporate and private companies and to establish small business ventures including printing press units for many physically challenged persons to earn their livelihood. The spirit of paternity for every physically challenged person has made the institution organize special matrimonial selection gatherings and marriage ceremonies for many disabled. Post-marital rehabilitation of such couples has been a matter of concern, which is addressed by helping them procure their house hold needs and means of livelihood.

The institution has also expanded his wings in the field of sports for the disabled people. It has organized various tournaments of multiple games especially for the physically handicapped people. Further it has been organizing various adventurous camps and tours for such people to make them feel that they are equally adventurous as any other normal human.

With a vision of touching every sphere of disabled people of every age, the institution has contemplated a Hospital exclusively for the physically challenged and an Old Age Home for physically challenged elderly people. With the help of a Mumbai based donor the construction of a 20,000 sq ft Hospital has been completed. The Hospital provides free of cost medical relief and conducts corrective surgeries free of cost to the disabled beneficiaries.

Recognitions

In his stride for the welfare of the disabled, Kanubhai Tailor and the institute has achieved the respect of one and all, apart from the numerous awards that Kanubhai has bagged in his more than 35 years of selfless service to mankind. The Trust has been awarded the Best Institute award from the Govt. of Gujarat while Kanubhai in appreciation of his noble deeds for the disadvantaged section of the society, has received the Padmashri -2011 Award and various other recognitions which can be summarized as follows:

A LIST OF AWARDS AND HONOURS

1. A Silver Cup for First Indian Handicapped Delegate from the Mobility International Geneva, Switzerland in 1979.
2. A shield of Best Worker from the Queen Elizabeth Disabled Foundation, U.K. in 1979.
3. A silver gift from the South Africa Indian Society, Durban in 1979.
4. An Appreciation letter and 15 wheel chairs from the Gujarati Samaj, U.K. 1979.
5. A shield “Gam na Gaurav” (Pride of the Village) from Adas Gam Panchayat in 1980.
6. A shield Apango Ni Prerana Murti from Ahmedabad Apan Manav Seva Sahay Mandal in 1980.
7. A medal Bhartiya Apang Doot from Sanskar Parivar, Vadodara in 1980.
8. A Limca Trophy 1985 for serving the handicapped in Surat city.
9. A Thums Up Trophy 1986 for serving the handicapped in Surat city.
10. An award of Best Handicapped 1987 from Manav Seva Samaj, Surat on the day of World Disabled Day.
11. A “Tamrapatra” from the South Gujarat Freedom Fighter Associations as helped to organise a padyatra from Killa-Pardi to Ahmedabad. Collected funds and given to Chief Minister’s relief funds. Also helped the famine striken people in 1988.
12. Various Awards from the Lions Club International for the working of the handicapped during the year 1987 to 1989.
13. Best Employee award from the Employment and Training Govt. of Gujarat at the hands of Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat in the year 1990.
14. In the year 1990 got the Outstanding Achievement International Award from Washington, D.C. America at the hands of President (World Handicapped Organization).
15. Received the Good Man Award from the Lions Governor, Lions International club president America in the year 1990.
16. Received many presents from the Lions club, Rotary club, Giants club and other well known clubs of Surat.
17. Received Outstanding Young Person award from Surat Junior Chamber of Commerce, during 1991 at Samrudhi, Surat.
18. Received Outstanding Young Person award from Gujarat Junior Chamber of Commerce during 1991 at Rotary hall, Valsad.
19. Received Extra Ordinary Person award from Surat Municipal Corporation during 1991 from Major Ajit Desai.
20. Received Outstanding Young Person award India Junior Chamber of Commerce in the field of humanitarian activities section from International President of Junior Chamber of Commerce at Nagpur in the year 1992.
21. Recipient of Outstanding Young Person of the world for 1992 given by Junior Chamber of Commerce International Miami (U.S.A.). The first ever award in India. This award was presented in presence of 5000 representatives from 92 countries at the worthy hands of the International President.
22. Best Employer award of Gujart State Employment and Labour Dept. at the worthy hands of the Governor in 1992.
23. Best Handicapped Activity award by Rohit Mehta International President of Lions International Club in 1992 in the multiple conference of 980 Lions Clubs of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
24. Best Person award of youth services and cultural Dept. of Government of Gujarat at the worthy hands of the Governor in 1993.
25. Club Service Activity award by Lions Club International at the worthy hands of Dist. Governor Ln. Vinodbhai Shah in 1993.
26. Apang Manav Mandal Ahmedabad, late Shri Kanubhai Mehta Memorial Handicapped Award at hands of the Director of Social Welfare Dept., Govt. of Gujarat 1994.
27. Best Handicapped Activity Award of Ujas weekly at the hands of Dy. Commissioner Shri Khairnar, Bombay Munciple Corporation in 1994.
28. Rehabilitation Award for giving training to maximum handicapped people by Rotary Club of Udhna by the hands of Rotary Governor.
29. Honoured by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Trust by Chair Person Smt. Soniya Gandhi New Delhi in 1994.
30. On occasion of India’s 50th Anniversary first time one handicapped was rewarded for Social Service by “National Award for the Welfare of people with disabilities by Govt. of India, Social Welfare Dept. on 3rd December 1997 at Vignan Bhavan, New Delhi by Hon’ble President Shri K.R.Narayan, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri I.K.Gujaral, Hon’ble Smt. Gujaral and Social Welfare Minister Shri Ramuwaliya and other superiors.
31. Seeking blessings from His Holiness Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1999.
32. N.G.O.’s of Gujarat have awarded Shri Kanubhai with a Trophy for the Best work done for the welfare of handicapped among various NGO’s in this field, in presence of Shri. Dhirubhai Shah, Hon’ble speaker of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha and Mr. Fakirbhai Vagela, Hon’ble Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Gujarat.
33. Trust has been awarded “Best Employer” award for the year 2001 by the Gujarat Government which was given by Shri. Sundersinh Bhandari, Governor of Gujarat and Mr. Kanjibhai Patel, Minister of Labour of Gujarat state was present in this occasion. Mr. Narandrabhai Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat invited Kanubhai in his chamber and congratulated him for the award.
34. Institute has been awarded “Best Institution” award for the year 1998 by the Gujarat Govt. which has given by Shri Sundersinh Bhandari, Governor of Guj. and Mr. Fakirbhai Vaghela, Minister of S.J.&Emp., Gandhinagar in 2002.
35. Kanubhai Tailor has been awarded “Best Worker” for the disabled award for the year 2001 by the Guj. Govt. which was given by Shri. Sundersinh Bhandari, Governor of Guj. and Mr. Fakirbhai Vaghela, Minister of S.J.&Emp., Gandhinagar.
36. Kanubhai Tailor has been awarded “Best Worker” for the disabled award for the year 2001 by the Guj. Govt. which was given by Shri. Sundersinh Bhandari, Governor of Guj. and Mr. Fakirbhai Vaghela, Minister of S.J.&Emp., Gandhinagar.
37. Honoured to share the dais with the erstwhile Prime Minister Shri A.B.Vajpayee at the National Abilympics Association of India meet in New Delhi in 2003.
38. Appreciations for rendering commendable service as Vice President of National Abilympic Association for the 6th International Abilympic meet in New Delhi in 2003.
39. Raconteur saint His Holiness Moraribapu felicitating Shri Kanubhai Tailor for his noble deeds in the field of Disability.
40. “Udhana Gaurav Award” by Sungrace school run by Ujjaval Education on 20/1/2004.
41. “Special Person Award” conferred on Shri Kanubhai Tailor during the celebration of Gujarat Gaurav Day by the C.M. of Gujarat in presence of the Governor of Gujarat and His Council of Ministers.
42. Akhil Bhartiya Marvadi Yuva Sangh, Surat felicitated Shri Kanubhai Tailor for his efforts in providing wheel chairs, tricycles, calipers and crutches on 21/5/2004.
43. H.E.Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam former President of India appreciating Shri Kanubhai Tailor at Rashtrapati Bhavan for his exemplary services for the disabled.
44. “Best Handicapped Activity Award” given by the Rajasthan Parishad Jain Swetambar Terapanthi Sabha, Surat 2005.
45. “Best Person Award for Youth Service” from Terapanth Yuvak Parishad, Udhana, Surat on 12/12/2005.
46. An appreciation award for his noble efforts by Madam Grace Pinto, Director Ryan International Group of Schools in 2005.
47. The Indian Red Cross Society, Gujarat presented “Best Activity for Jaipur Foot and Cerebral Palsy” to Shri Kanubhai Tailor in 2006.
48. “National Status: Award” for the year 2007 by Health and Education Development Association, New Delhi.
49. “Rastriya Gaurav Ratna Award” for Best Activity in the field of disability presented by Economic and Human resource Development Association in 2007.
50. “Help to Handicapped” Award for best activity presented by Lioness Club of Surat North, in 2008.
51. “Best Handicapped Activity” award given away by The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Surat on 01/10/2008.
52. The “President’s Appreciation Award” in appreciation of the selfless humanitarian service for the disabled presented by Lions Club of Surat North, in 2008.
53. “Best Activity in Disabled Field” Award was presented by Samvedana Charitable Trust in 2008.
54. “Best Service For Disabled” a National Award presented by His Holiness Shri Bhav Bhaveshwar of Sawmi Akhand Anand Memorable Charitable Trust of India on 11/02/2008.
55. Appreciations by H.E. Shri S.C.Jamir, Governor of Maharashtra at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai for Kanubhai’s worthy efforts for the disabled on 7/8/2008.
56. Appreciations by H.E. Shri B.L.Joshi, Governor of Uttarakhand at Raj Bhavan, Dehradoon for Kanubhai’s worthy efforts for the disabled on 2/9/2008.
57. Appreciations by Honorable Major General B.Khanduri Chief Minister of Uttarakhand at Dehradoon for Kanubhai’s worthy efforts for the disabled on 2/9/2008.
58. H.E. Shri N.N.Vora, Governor of J&K invited Kanubhai to be State Guest and appreciated him for his selfless services for the marginalized community at Raj Bhavan, Jammu on 21/11/2008.
59. Appreciations by Honorable C.M. of Himachal Pradesh Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal, on the World Disabled Day on 03/12/2008 at Shimla.
60. Appreciations by the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Shri L.K. Advani for exemplary work in the field of disability in 2008.
61. Raconteur saint His Holiness Kiritbhaiji felicitating Shri Kanubhai Tailor for his noble deeds in the field of Disability.
62. The leading print media group Divya Bhaskar Awarding the title of Kanu”DEV” to Kanubhai for his outstanding service for the disable community on 22/12/2009 .
63. His Holiness Satyamitranandji Maharaj blessing Kanubhai on 30/03/2009.
64. DBGold an afternoon daily news paper presented Shri Kanubhai Tailor the “Best Worker” award in 2009.
65. Received the “Good Man Award” from the Bhartiya Tat Rakshak Dal (India Coast Guards) in Surat on 2010.
66. “Best Activity” in the field of disability award presented by Mahavir International on 11/7/2010.
67. Received the meritorious civilian award “Padmashri” in 2011 for selflessly working for the disabled community.
68. Chandragupt Bhanu Award in 2011 by Kalyan Karoti Sansthan in Uttar Pradesh
69. Golden Bravery Award by Godfrey Phillips in the year 2012
70. Golden Bravery National Award by Godfrey Phillips in the year 2013

Government of Gujarat
(Information Department)
Surat.
Special Lekh No 12/1
12th May, 1993

Shri Kanubhai Tailor is not a person but an Institution.

It was Miami City, capital of Florida State USA. A huge air-conditioned auditorium was packed full of people, including representatives from 92 companies. Suddenly, several people rose to their feet as an announcement was made about an Indian citizen. A tremendous welcome greeted this man who now appeared on the stage sitting in his wheelchair, both leg dangling uselessly. This man, trying to hold back tears of joy was Kanubhai Tailor of Surat, Gujarat state, India. The function was held by junior chambers international to honour 10 people of special work done in different fields in 92 different countries. It was an incredible achievement that this award of outstanding young people of the world for humanitarian and voluntary service was received by someone who is both Indian and disabled. Kanubhai Tailor appeared on international television in an interview in which he received many public congratulations. The Chief Minister of Gujarat state, Shree Chimanbhai Patel personally telephoned to congratulate him. The government of Gujarat also awarded Mr. Tailor "Special Person Award".

When I visited Viklang Bandhu, the disable printing press managed by Mr. Tailor, I counted 22 awards of national and international awards in his chamber. These includes Best Employee for Physically Handicap Person, 1990, and the self employed person, 1992, awarded by Gujarat Govt. In speaking to Kanubhai Tailor, I could easily see his quality and goodwill, sympathy and desire to help other needy person. Despite the physical handicap he is an extremely confident and capable man, certainly not affected by feelings of inferiority. He is a greatly inspirational man. At the age of 11 months he was having high fever, followed by polio, which rendered both of his legs completely useless. But the real test was experienced when Kanubhai started attending school. He had to crawl all the way to school and tolerate the humiliation of other children making fun of him. His family has endure miserable living conditions, and upon Kanubhai was the extra burden of being the elder son of family with all expectations on him. Often he felt he could not endure the frustration and despair, in fact Kanubhai told me that once he even tried to commit suicide. Fortunately, God had other plans for him. Somehow he survived that life and was able to be begin again. He passed his SSC examination at Adas Road, Dist. Kheda, and left his father home. Kanubhai then set out for Ahmedabad with a strong ambition to do well for himself and to serve his fellow human beings. In Ahmedabad railway station he saw a disabled girl. The first thing he noticed about her was how happy she was. She had accepted disable living and natural and simple along with the cheerful life. Because of her Kanubhai was able to leave his own happiness behind. He decided to do something for other disabled people and studied up to the last year of commerce. Unfortunately he was unable to give the examination. During this examination, Kanubhai succeeded in starting sports for disable people. He established the society for the physically handicapped in 1976 and was president for 5 years. This has been a leading institution in activity of the disabled.

With only 2 months was remaining before the TY B.Com examination, Kanubhai was selected by the Mobility International as the first Indian representative of the the 6th International World Mobility Conference 1979. The Prime Minister of India Mr. Morarjibhai Desai bid him goodbye and good luck for abroad. As a result of strong representation at the Geneva conference, the govt. of India decided to celebrate 1981 as physically handicapped year, UNO also passed the resolution. This was implemented by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In remembrance of her, Kanubhai told his experience with her when his own economical condition was very bad. It was difficult for him to more using hands and crawling on the hot earth with no tricycle. He wrote a letter to the late Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1971 and as a result, Indiraji gave him a tricycle immediately. She always showed compassions, real love and humanity to Kanubhai. After the Geneva conference, the govt. sent a team of twelve members to Britain, France, Kuwait, Thailand, south Africa and Kenya, to study the problems of the disabled and their remedies, Kanubhai was selected as one of the member. Kanubhai was invited by the national society for handicapped, to inaugurate a conference in America in 1982. he presented a report about the celebration of 1981 as year of the disabled in India and describe the activities in details. He presented this report to the govt. India after returning from Belgium, London and Dubai. In 1985, Kanubhai started the Viklang Bandhu Press, to provide jobs for the disables. 10 disable persons once trained at the press and then help to start their own self-employment venture. As a result of this the govt. of Gujarat gave him two awards. The finance minister and chief minister immediately came to visit his press and appreciated the initiative of Kanubhai tailor.

Kanubhai tailor born on 17-05-1956 at magdalla, near Surat dose not limit his activites to his employees. He began a fast until death to obtain travel relief for the disabled. His demands were eventually accepted by the govt. and implemented, and after he had fasted for 11 days, showing his immense will power in the desire to serve humanity. After joining the loins club, he became more popular. He became the president of the lions club of mid-west in the year 1992-93 instead of going to the temple he use to go to the orphan ashram. He distributed clothes and notebooks, arranged arrange sports competitions and started activates such as medical camp. Doing that service he collected more then 1100 bottles of blood for donation. He work hard for the disables and also stopped the lunch programme of the lions club using the money saved for social work. Kanubhai tailor was selected from the applicants all over the world by a handicapped org. in Washington ,USA for outstanding achievements internationally in 1990. The President (WHO) World Handicapped Organization presented the award. At the time the Indian Ambassador, Mr. Abidali himself came on the stage to push Kanubhai tailor wheelchair. The Secretory of White House invited Kanubhai to the White House and he was hournered to sit on the chair of "Abraham Lincoln". When he returned to New Delhi he was congratulated by the Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Mr. William Bik, president of lions club international announced in America that even though Lions Club throughout the world works for the disabled, only one disabled person became president of the Lions Club and done so much for the welfare of the society. During 1992-93 Kanubhai Tailor was president of Lions Club Midwest in Surat. He performed exemplary works for the Loins Club, reaching Kapadvanj to Vapi. The District Governor has also taken note of this. In his activities he spent 60,000 Rs on notebooks which were distributed to the disabled, and 100 tricycles were also distributed. His main activities concerned medical treatments and operations. We can take a look at his personal life. He received many offers of marriage, but chose a girl named Hansaben of Surat. She is handicap, without the use of both hands. She says "my legs are yours and your hands are mine". With this sprit they are enjoying married life, and have family of two children, "Rachana" - 4 years and "Sonu"-2 years. Both are physically fit in all respects.

During his visit to London he met with V.V.I.P. When the Gujarati Association [ Darjee Gynati Seva Mandal - UK] gave him the money he did not accepted, but requested to be given wheelchairs instead. 11 wheelchairs were given, which at that time cost 8,000 Rs. (presently the cost is Rs 30,000) when these wheelchairs were brought to India, a custom duty @ 30% was charged. But due to the efforts of the Governor Smt. Shardaben Mukherji & Chief Minister Mr. Madhavsingh Solanki, the Customs duty was waived. Those wheelchairs were distributed among the disabled at no cost, by the hands of the Governor. In a similar way the World handicap organization gave Kanubhai 1,00,000 Pounds. Which he promptly returned so that it could be spent on development. This gesture is a great pride of India. When I asked Kanubhai to give me a message for the disabled, he said that society should not consider the disabled to be helpless. He also said that the disabled should overcome feelings of inferiority and work hard for the society. Recently Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairman of Rajiv Gandhi foundation, invited Kanubhai to her residence in New Delhi in 1993. Because of the frank and easy nature of Kanubhai Tailor, about 50 to 60 people visited his place daily and tries to help of who ask him to. I asked Kanubhai what reaction would be if the Government of Gujarat would select him for a Special Person Award he replied that it would be indicate that he had the co-operation of the Government. He said his demand is for free travel facilities for 3,50,000 disabled. He would be very pleased with the action taken if the Government were to grant this proposal.

Kanubhai Tailor is the pioneer of the Disable Welfare Trust of India. This is his own dreams, and reaches from Baroda to Bombay. There are no facility as such for the disabled, no schools, hostel or hospital. Recently a donor supplied him with 10 acres of land 14 Kms from Surat at Althan Village, Surat. His dreams is to build a school, hostel and a trading center for the physically handicapped. He also wants to start a physiotherapy center in the near future. With all he has done for the welfare of the public, Kanubhai is far ahead of the normal person. Looking at Kanubhai Tailor and his services and the country remember one slok of Sanskrit " Mukam Karothi Vachalam…. Pangu Langhayat Girim."

 

LIST OF MEMBERSHIP IN VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS

1. Founder President, Disable Welfare Trust of India (Reg. Charitable Trust) Recognised by Social Defence Dept., Education Dept., Lab. & Empl. Dept. of Govt. of Gujarat. Dept. of Social Justice & Empowerment Govt. of India.
2. Member, National Trust, New Delhi, Govt. of India (Org. Reg.)
3. Member, Lions Club International Dist. 323F, Surat Rotary Club, Surat Junior Chamber, Gujarat Federal Organisation of Charitable Trust.
4. Member, District Rehabilitation Council, Surat, Govt. of Gujarat.
5. Member, State Level Award Committee, Ministry of Social Justice & Emp. Govt. of Gujarat.
6. Member, State Level Award Committee, Ministry of Labour & Emp. Govt. of Gujarat.
7. Member, Maharsi Ashtavakra Project Rehabilitation for Disabled Committee, Ministry of Social Justice & Emp. Govt. of Gujarat Gandhinagar.
8. Member, 10th Five Years Planning for Welfare of Disabled, Social Defence Dept. Govt. of Gujarat Ahmedabad.
9. Member, District Level Disabled Act-1995 Action Committee, Surat, Govt. of Gujarat.
10. Member, Employment for Disabled, District Employment Dept., Surat, Govt. of Gujarat.
11. Member, National Trust, Local Level Committee Surat District, Surat, Govt. of India.
12. Member, Advisory Committee, Disabled Project Gandhi Engg. College, Surat, Govt. of India, (Ministry of HRD Govt. of India New Delhi Project.)
13. Hon. Director, Prime Co-op. Bank Ltd. Surat.
14. Chairman, Viklang Bandhu Printing Press, Surat.
15. Vice President Governing Body, National Abilympic Association of India, New Delhi.
16. Member, National Award selection committee, S.J. & Emp. Dept., Govt. of India.
17. Member, National Award selection subcommittee, Ministry of S.J. & Emp. Dept., Govt. of India.
18. Member, Rehabilitation Council of India, Ministry of S.J. & Emp. Dept., Govt. of India.
19. Member of the State Level Action Committee, Govt. of Gujarat. to ensure the effective implementation of the prescribed norms under the 1995 Disability Act.
20. Advisor, to Gujarat Rajya Sanstha Sanchalak Sangh.
21. President, South Gujarat Federation of Associations for Handicapped.
22. Trustee, District Rehabilitation Council.
23. Trustee, Care Hospital, Surat.