Visually impaired man to be feted for lighting up way to self-empowerment

Bhavesh Bhatia will get the National Award for Best Self-Employed Resident with Disabilities on December 3, recognising his efforts to run a thriving candle-making business

Bhavesh Chandubhai Bhatia will be the first visually challenged citizen of the state to receive the prestigious National Award for Best Self-Employed Resident with Disabilities by the Department of Disability Affairs. 

Bhavesh Bhati’s clientele includes some of the biggest corporations in the country, and his products have a growing demand in Asian and West Asian countries as well. File pic
Bhavesh Bhati’s clientele includes some of the biggest corporations in the country, and his products have a growing demand in Asian and West Asian countries as well. File pic

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will host the award ceremony in New Delhi on December 3, to recognise the efforts of people with disabilities toward employment and empowerment of others.

The 44-year-old will receive the award for running a lucrative candle-making business, Sunrise Candle Industries, which has created employment for over 250 visually impaired people, in and around Mahabaleshwar.

Bhavesh developed his skill for making candles from the department for rehabilitation in the National Association of Blind (NAB) in 1999. He started his business from a handcart, with 20 kg of wax and one dye and design.

Today, his clientele includes some of the biggest corporations across the country, and his products are gaining demand in several Asian and West Asian countries as well.

“The day I started my work, I did not even have slippers to wear. After working for more than 15 years, I can proudly say that our yearly requirement of wax is more than 200 tonnes and we offer 900 unique designs that are prepared by people who have lost their sight,” said Bhavesh.

Bhavesh says that his core principal has always been to motivate people who are visually impaired and encourage them to pursue different professions to be able to stand on their own two feet. He has been associated with various institutes and NGOs, and has worked with social activists to spread the message of self-empowerment.

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