Bal Puraskar for 9-year-old who scaled Everest base camp after a battle with Down Syndrome | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bal Puraskar for 9-year-old who scaled Everest base camp after a battle with Down Syndrome

By, Bhopal
Jan 25, 2024 05:40 AM IST

The government of India citation for Tiwari, awarded in the “social service” category, says, “Avnish is an incredible young individual who has overcome tremendous obstacles in his life”

Avnish Tiwari is all of nine years old, but his life is already a story of tragedy and triumph. Born with a hole in his heart and Down Syndrome, he was abandoned at birth, and found himself in an orphanage in Indore. It was in 2014, at the Missionaries of Charity centre in Indore, when Aditya Tiwari, a software engineer in a multinational bank, first met the boy that would become his son. He was formally adopted, but this, too, was a struggle.

President Droupadi Murmu presents the award to Avnish Tiwari at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. (ANI)
President Droupadi Murmu presents the award to Avnish Tiwari at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. (ANI)

But Avnish Tiwari overcame it all. He has given TEDx talks, trekked to the Mount Everest Base camp at the age of 7, and become an inspiration for children like him. On Monday, he met President Droupadi Murmu, and on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the youngest of this year’s 19 recipients of the Prime Minister National Children’s Award for 2024. The next milestone is to take pride of place at the Republic Day parade that will march down Kartavya Path on January 26.

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The government of India citation for Tiwari, awarded in the “social service” category, says, “Avnish is an incredible young individual who has overcome tremendous obstacles in his life. Orphaned at birth and later adopted, he faced the challenges associated with Down syndrome, yet achieved his first world record at the age of 2.5, solidifying his place as a remarkable trailblazer. With the remarkable achievement of being featured not once but twice in TEDx Talks, and even receiving invitations to be a TEDx Speaker at the tender ages of 3 and 4. Master Avnish has trekked Mt. Everest base camp at age 7 and became inspiration for other children. Additionally, at the tender age of 8, he made history by becoming the youngest-ever recipient of the Shresth Divyang Bal Puraskar - National Award in 2022.”

In 2014, then a single man aged 26, Aditya Tiwari was distributing sweets in the Missionaries of Charity orphanage in Indore when he saw an infant called Binny, ignored because of his medical conditions. He resolved to adopt, but the law stood in the way; he had to be 30 years old to be eligible. But in August 2015, the Central Adoption Resource Authority rules were amended, bringing down the age at which a single male could adopt a single male child to 26. By January 2016, Aditya Tiwari brought Binny home.

Tiwari told HT, “I knew that Avnishwas born with special abilities, but I decided to make him special even in terms of his capabilities.”

By the age of two-and-a-half, Avnish was a key part of the “first world record” his family received when Aditya Tiwari was recognised by the Golden Book of World Records, an Indian company, as the youngest single parent at 28 years and 4 months, to adopt a differently abled child, and in 2020, at six, gave his first TEDx Talk with his father raising awareness for children with special needs.

In April 2021, Avnish became the youngest differently abled child, all of seven years old, to reach the Everest base camp. “Avnish has always been full of courage and that is why at the age of 7, he was successful at reaching a height of 18,200 feet and hoisting the tricolour at the Everest Base camp. I remember that when we reached there, he was extremely happy,” Tiwari said.

Since 2016, Avnish has travelled across the country and the world to create awareness about the needs of disabled children, taking part in seminars, and interacted with professionals and others with disabilities. In 2020, he spoke at the 12th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Now a student at the Mhow Army Public School, Avnish is a beacon of inspiration for children like him. “Avnish now travels around the world to raise awareness about therapies that can help, and understands the problems of orphans and children like him very well. When he interacts with them, he may speak in broken sentences, but always with a smile. And when children clap for him, he is always filled with a sense of pride,” Aditya Tiwari said.

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