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Nasscom Foundation holds the event in partnership with Microsoft India

11 innovative solutions given catalytic grants worth Rs 85 Lakh & mentorship

New Delhi, NFAPost: Nasscom Foundation and Microsoft India in partnership with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Science & Technology (DST), and ERNET 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:

CategorySegmentName of the Project/InnovationName of the Organization
MobilityEarlyKickstart Gati: An electric vehicle and that easily accommodates a wheelchair when neededKickstart Services Private Limited
MobilityEstablishedNeoFly: 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)EarlyNURTURING DIFFERENT LEARNERS: a validated easy to use screening tool for parents to ensure early identification of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in childrenBlink Foundation + NIEPMD [National Institute for Empowerment of People with Multiple Disabilities]
EducationEstablishedHEXIS: 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 blindnessVembi Technologies Private Limited
Education*Early – Special MentionE-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 MentionDevelopment 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 printRaised Lines Foundation – IIT Delhi Technopark-ITEC
E-governance & AccessEarlyCluster 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 & AccessEstablishedA mobile app that provides live interpretation of speech in Indian Sign Language (ISL) to enable seamless communication between a hearing impaired and a hearing personSignAble Communication Private Limited
HealthEarlySplinter Band: A wearable for autistic people, that reads and helps convey any emotional or physiological change.Globsol Innovation Labs Pvt Ltd
HealthEstablishedA 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 LivelihoodEarlyMyDost:  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 LivelihoodEstablishedInclusive 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)EarlyScreenPlay – A digital game-based screening tool for autismKidaura 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

Commenting on th success of the event, Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said with over 1 billion people with disabilities around the world, IAI has 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,” said Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari.

Nasscom Foundation CEO Ashok Pamidi said with Innovate for an Accessible India, one of the 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,” said Nasscom Foundation CEO Ashok Pamidi.

He further added that on the eve of International day of Persons with Disabilities, Nasscom hopes to present these innovations to all of India’s 2.7 crore 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,” said Nasscom Foundation CEO Ashok Pamidi.                                       

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

CategoriesJuror NameOrganisationDesignation
MobilityAnita Narayan IyerEkanshFounder
Shilpi KapoorBarrier BreakFounder
Vinayak HedgeMicrosoft IndiaCTO
HealthDr Neena PahujaERNETEx Director General
Anita GuptaDSTNEB Head
Reena Dayal YadavMicrosoft IndiaPrincipal Program Manager, The Garage R&D team,  
EducationAshutosh ChaddhaMasterCardVice President & Head Public Policy and Government Affairs South Asia at Mastercard
Tarika RoyDEPwDJoint Secretary
Ira SinghalDepartment of Women and Child DevelopmentDeputy Director, IAS
Skilling and LivelihoodJaikant SinghSCPwDCSO, NSDC
Kiran DMONGC FoundationCEO
Meenu BhambaniState StreetVice President, Head of Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion and Diversity, APAC at State Street
Shri  Rajan SehgalNHFDCChairman, MD
B.K ChakravarthyIDC, IIT BombayInstitute Chair Professor
E Governance and AccessibilityBharat Bhushan TiwariERNETSr. Director
Vikash PrasadDEPwDSr. Director
Rakesh PaladugulaAdobe Systema11y Product Manager
Nixon JosephSBI FoundationCEO
Dipesh SutariyaEnable IndiaFouder and CEO
Artificial Intelligence For Good AwardRohini SrivathsaMicrosoft IndiaNational CTO
Snehanshu MitraNASSCOMHead – CoE, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence @ NASSCOM
Ramanan RamnathanNiti AyogMD ATL & Additional Secretary at NitiAyog

About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over  13,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local datacenters to accelerate digital transformation across Indian start-ups, businesses, and government organizations. In 2016, Microsoft opened one of its eight Cybersecurity Engagement Centers in the country, to address security needs of both public and private sectors.

About NASSCOM Foundation:  
NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the IT-BPM industry body – NASSCOM and works with the industry in achieving its goals of social transformation and impact through technology.
The foundation has touched more than two million lives through its efforts towards providing digital literacy, skills for livelihood, supporting persons with disabilities, empowering not-for-profit organizations with technology and driving volunteerism.

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