Immediate Release-Shyam Benegal Sanctions 25 Lakh From MP Fund for Differently-Abled People

by Adapt (Able Disabled All People Together) on Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 19:38 ·

~ Innauguarates facility from the funds he provided at ADAPT, Bandra centre ~

Mumbai, 26th April, 2012: Every Member of Parliament in India is given Rs. 5 crores every year under the MPLADS – Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme for him/her to use for public welfare. Film director Shyam Benegal, whose 6 year term as MP ended on 15th of February this year, sanctioned 25 lakh from the MP fund for the procurement of aids and appliances for differently-abled people at the Able Disable All People Together (ADAPT, formerly the Spastics Society of India) centre at their Bandra centre.

Dr. Mithu Alur (centre), Founder Chairperson, ADAPT & Mr. Shyam Benegal helps to fix the harness of a child with disability from Dharavi, whose wheelchair has been brought by the fund provided by Mr. Benegal when he was a Rajya Sabha MP. He gave 25 lakh to ADAPT – Able Disabled All People Together (formerly the Spastics Society of India) from the MPLAD Fund – Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund which got this child her wheelchair.


The funds provided by Mr. Benegal have been used to get equipments for the Greenstone Digital Library Unit; the Therapy Aids and Appliances Unit; the Audiology, Speech therapy and Communication Aids Unit and the Strengthening and Fitness Training Unit. These units were inaugurated by Mr. Benegal today as ADAPT celebrates its Annual Day. The chief guests for the occasion were Mr. Peter Beckingham, British Deputy High Commissioner and Ms. Sonal Desai, General Manager, CSR, HPCL.

Shyam Benegal and Mrs. Jill Beckingham, wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Peter Beckingham, inaugurate the “Audiology, Speech Therapy & Communication Aids Unit” that has been made possible by the Rs. 25 lakh that Mr. Shyam Benegal gave to ADAPT – Able Disabled All People Together (formerly the Spastics Society of India) from the MPLAD Fund – Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund while he was an MP of the Rajya Sabha.


“First of all I support all initiatives to do with children and adults with disability. Secondly ADAPT has been doing exceptionally good work for the last 40 years. So when the chance came to give them something back, I took it up. Unfortunately I could not give more than 25 lakh since that is the limit for NGOs,” Shyam Benegal said while inaugurating the centre today.

Dr. Mithu Alur, Founder-Chairperson, ADAPT said, “We went to Mr. Benegal with a request for funds to get some aids and appliances for our ADAPT centre in Mumbai. He told us to apply and send a proposal. When the need was confirmed, he sanctioned 25 lakh from the MP fund immediately. We didn’t even have to remind him about it. In a world where most of the MP funds meant to be used for welfare of the masses is rarely utilised by most MPs, it is heartening to see him being so proactive. If most of the MPs and MLAs were like him, this nation would be a much better place.”

Shyam Benegal & Mrs. Sonal Desai, General Manager, CSR-HPCL with Mrs. Jill Beckingham, (wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Peter Beckingham) in the back ground inaugurate the “Therapy Aids &Appliances Unit” that has been made possible by the Rs. 25 lakh that Mr. Shyam Benegal gave to ADAPT – Able Disabled All People Together from the MPLAD Fund – Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund while he was an MP of the Rajya Sabha.


The investment of the money done on the centre, will end up helping hundreds of children and adults with disability who avail of the facilities in the ADAPT centre.

About ADAPT:

ADAPT (Able Disabled All People Together), formerly ‘The Spastics Society of India, was founded by Padmashri Dr. Mithu Alur in 1972. From a special school with only three children, it has grown to become one of the foremost non-profit organizations in India providing services like assessment, therapy, counseling, inclusive education, skill training and job placement to thousands of children and young adults with disability and their families. Today ADAPT has evolved to become a seminal organization that interacts with national and international organizations, public & private sector bodies and government agencies at all levels to influence policy changes that impact marginalized groups across the country. In 2012 ADAPT is celebrating four decades of serving the nation through various programs.

For More Details  Please Contact: 


Bhavana Mukherjee: +91 9833179394

Madhavi Kumar: +91 9867661821

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Annie Zaidi: The artists who took a stand

English: Photograph of Shyam Benegal in his of...

Image via Wikipedia

One of life’s minor joys is finding someone to admire.
Not many heroes are left to us, thanks to the mainstream press ignoring instances of quiet, sustained courage, and our own cynicism. I’m sometimes annoyed at ‘positive’ news that translates into interviews with students who have managed high scores, or interviews with successful businessmen or creative professionals. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but there’s a difference between success and heroism.

We rarely hear about those who take a stand — unless they end up being jailed or tortured or killed for it. And then we begin to wonder if there is anybody at all who takes a stand, and whether it is worth it. And if nobody does, why should we?

So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag had withdrawn from the jury of a filmmaking competition organised by Vedanta. I looked it up online and saw that lucrative prizes were being offered to media students. But the thing is, Vedanta’s money is not made through films. It is made through mining, mostly in rural areas and forests, and a lot of Vedanta’s activities and plans are protested by those who must suffer the consequences.

Vedanta wanted to create happiness, not by tackling pollution but through a film competition. It chose jurors like Shyam Benegal, Gul Panag and Piyush Pandey. Last I checked on their website, only Pandey’s name remained on the list. And I feel relieved, not because I want to see Vedanta criticised, but simply because I get hungry for the lack of an artist whom I can also admire as a person.

Benegal has long been a hero for many of us who like his artistic vision, and respect his engagement with the political, moral and social forces shaping the country. After lawyer-activist Kamayani  Bali Mahabal wrote an open letter on her blog, telling him about Vedanta’s reluctance to take responsibility for pollution and displacement, a friend of Benegal’s left a comment saying that the filmmaker has withdrawn from the jury.

To be honest, I was surprised. I would have understood if he chose to ignore that letter. Every major corporation is devoted to extracting profit from earth, water, air, human labour, and at minimum cost. They all pump money into image management so they come off smelling like roses. Vedanta certainly isn’t the only one. And what would be accomplished if one filmmaker backed out of one tiny contest?…. CONTD…

Read DNA article here



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