There are times when a cause needs a powerful symbol or a credible institution to get noticed. In 2016, the cause of an Accessible India found its mascot in India’s most popular record book - The Limca Book of Records. The editorial team of Limca Book of Records decided to dedicate the 2016 edition to the cause of People with Disabilities (PWDs) and announced the names of 15 PWDs as the Limca Book of Records – People of the Year.

The Limca Book of Records People of the Year 2016 list comprises:

  • Akbar Khan, the first visually-impaired candidate to qualify in the SSC Hindi shorthand and stenography examination
  • 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 medallist at Global Olympiad Dance Competition 
  • 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 leukaemia patient
  • Javed Ahmad Tak, winner of a 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
  • Ranveer Singh Saini – Gold medallist 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 6 medals
  • Radhika Chand, an accomplished painter and an award-winning teacher to the specially abled

At the event, where these 15 recipients addressed the world and the Limca Book of Records Editor honoured them, Chief guests Venkatesh Kini and N R Narayanmurthy, co-signed a petition urging the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Prime Minister of India to make sign language an official language in India. Limca Book of Records also released the first Braille edition of the book in 2016.

The event concluded on the note that government, civil society and the corporate sector must come together to accomplish the vision of an accessible India. Coca-Cola India is continuing its efforts to create awareness with the intent of contributing to the government’s cause of making society a more hospitable environment for differently-abled individuals.