18-year-old Eshwaramma Nrayanappa – a quadriplegic former sponsored child – has won a Diana Award in recognition of her contribution to the rights of children living with disability in India.
The Diana Awards are dedicated to the memory of the Princess of Wales and are given to young people who inspire the lives of others.
Eshwaramma is only the second Indian to have received the award for her sustained, selfless contribution to her community and as a demonstration of her exceptional personal qualities.
On receiving her award, Eswaramma said: “Thank you. I feel very honoured to have been chosen.”
Sponsorship enabled Eshwaramma to attend a school for severely disabled children where she learnt to write and draw, holding pens and brushes in her teeth. It also gave her and her family the confidence to face the world with hope.
Since attending school, she has gone on to become a campaigner for the rights of other disabled people.
Eshwaramma has played an important role in ensuring her state government provided more opportunities for people living with a disability in villages, attending committee meetings, lobbying and talking about her own experiences.
Even more crucially, she helps parents and families recognise that children with disabilities have aspirations and should be given the same opportunities as everyone else, visiting children in their homes and showing what she has been able to do with just a little help.Her ultimate dream? “I want to be an art teacher,” says Eshwaramma. ActionAid is sure she has the dedication and tenacity to achieve this.
photo : ©ActionAid