India-June 5th 2012- Samarthanam is proud to announce a coffee table book, India Awakened: Agents of Changes on the nation’s unsung heroes that dedicates a section to the dynamic, inspiring founder of this organization for the disabled, Mr. G K Mahantesh.
The Book was released by Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Hob’ble Minster of Rural Development Govt. of Indian along with Dipankar Gupta, NAC member Aruna Roy, HT Editor-inChief Sanjoy Narayan, BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman at Delhi, this book honors heroes from different walks of life for their outstanding contribution to the society. Brought out by Hindustan Times in partnership with Tata Tea.
Mr.Mahantesh, who is visually impaired himself, said on the occasion, “This a moment of victory for all of us, this recognition, the honor, will help spread greater awareness about the work being done to create a society of equality, a society of inclusion.”
He was also recently conferred with an award from NDTV called the Spirit of Sports Lifetime Achievement Award for the commitment he has shown to promoting sports among disabled people.
Mahantesh was born in Neginhal in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. For the first six months of his life things were fine until he had a virulent attack of typhoid. This led to him losing his vision. The whole household was despondent. He started schooling in a regular school in his village. When his father heard about Sri Ramana Maharishi School for the Blind in Bangalore, he was shifted there and Mahantesh joined in as a resident student at the age of ten. From then, there was no looking back as far as his education went. He did his Pre-university in National College, Jayanagar, Bangalore and his under graduation at the National College, Basavanagudi, and Bangalore. His MA and Mphil are in English literature from the University of Bangalore. He taught English at the law College in the city of Bangalore for three years. Tired of the humdrum routine, he decided to give in to his inner urge of wanting to do something for the visually challenged. Two of his friends dreamt the same dream and out of this was born Samarthanam. Compassion and empathy have been his greatest strengths.
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, an Associate Member of the World Blind Union, Geneva has been striving since 1997 to empower the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged people in India, working towards an inclusive society that will provide equal opportunities and a dignified life. Samarthanam offers quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training and placement based rehabilitation staying focused on advocacy, education, livelihood skills, capacity building, accessibility and a barrier free environment.