Specially abled; not differently abled: I express my deep sense of gratitude to Asiriyar Veeramani and Periyar Muthamil Mandram for honouring me with the most prestigious Periyar award 16th January 2017. This award has effected two eventualities in me; 1. My confidence is strengthened with greater impetus to persist in life. 2. This award in the name of the most original thinker, Thanthai Periyar has added fervour to my social commitment and vision for the youth. A memorable milestone creditation indeed ever since I have emerged as Inspiring Ilango from Ilango. The list of previous accomplished awardees and 7 co recipient achievers this year filled me with awe and bewilderment. I grabbed the awaited opportunity to appeal to Asiriyar and the entire audience to refer to the physically challenged as specially abled instead of differently abled, which was well acknowledged and reciprocated by the leader of Dravidar Kazhagam.
I’ve been visually challenged since my birth fortunately. As the only person in my generation to have ventured to school I could complete my undergraduation and postgraduation with flying colours from Loyola College. Perhaps as an eighth standard student my refusal to prostrate at the feet of Bangaru Adigal of Melmaruvathur despite being beaten up by my father could be traced with the earliest symptom of my rationalism. I will march on the path of instilling the vigour of atheism and the other aspects of rationalism more passionately and enthusiastically. My sincere thanks once again for this incomparable honour!
– Inspiring Ilango