Celebrating the power of the human spirit and the virtues of inclusivity, the Limca Book of Records galvanized forces earlier this month to help make India a more inclusive and accessible society.

The book’s editorial team announced 15 Persons of the Year for 2016 who have not allowed physical disability to stand in the way of success. Shri N. R. Narayana Murthy, Infosys founder, recognized the honorees alongside Venkatesh Kini, president, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, and Vijaya Ghose, editor, Limca Book of Records.

The Limca Book of Records People of the Year 2016 include:

  • Akbar Khan, the first visually impaired candidate to qualify in the SSC Hindi shorthand and stenography examination
  • Arunima Sinha, the first specially abled woman to climb the Mt. Everest
  • Dr. Suresh Advani, an oncologist who performed the first successful bone marrow transplant on a leukemia patient
  • Javed Ahmad Tak, winner of the national award for outstanding contribution to the welfare of persons with disabilities
  • Ramsurat Majhi, a messenger of peace who journeyed 23,000 km across India for national harmony
  • Ashwini Angadi, winner of the United Nations Youth Courage Award for Education
  • Aayushi Pareek, the youngest and the first visually-challenged woman admitted to the Bar Council of Rajasthan
  • K. S. Rajanna, Paralympic Gold Medalist, entrepreneur and the first differently abled Commissioner of the State Department for Disabled in Karnataka
  • Major Devender Pal Singh (Retd.), war hero and marathon runner
  • Saylee Nandkishor Agavane, Bronze medalist at Global Olympiad Dance Competition
  • Ranveer Singh Saini – Gold medalist golfer at the Special Olympics World Games
  • Zameer Dhale, advocacy activist for multi-sensory impaired persons in India
  • Rajive Raturi, crusader for legal rights of the specially-abled
  • K.Y. Venkatesh, the first Indian athlete at the World Dwarf Games to win six medals
  • Radhika Chand, an accomplished painter and an award winning teacher to the specially-abled

Venkatesh Kini (left), president of Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, signs a petition urging the Prime Minister of India and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make sign language an official language of India. 

“India cannot dream of becoming the world’s leading economy without first becoming an inclusive society – a society inclusive in gender, ability, ethnicity and all other social parameters. Corporates, government, civil society must all come together to accomplish the vision of an accessible India. We can achieve this task, by joining hands across the board as a collective effort,” Murthy said.

Murthy co-signed a petition urging the Prime Minister of India and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to make sign language an official language of India. Other signatories included Kini and all 2016 Limca Book of Records honorees.

A highlight of the event included the launch of the first Braille edition of the Limca Book of Records.

“As publishers of Limca Book of Records and as a responsible corporate, we are committing ourselves to tutor introductory sign language lessons to 10,000 people,” Kini said. “We along with our partners will also conduct sensitization and awareness sessions about persons with disabilities equivalent to 1,000 man-hours of training. Coca-Cola India will work with its allies, partners, vendors, suppliers, key accounts to make buildings, inclusive and disabled friendly. We all need to come together in this movement.”