Zhan Shuak Award Ceremony Highlights Achievements of People with Disabilities

Zhanat OmarbekovaASTANA – The 6th annual Zhan Shuak award ceremony for people with disabilities took place at the Astana Music Hall on Dec. 3 as part of Boundless Opportunities 2013, which is an international initiative. The ceremony was organised by the Confederacy of Disabled People and supported by the Nur Otan Party.

Opening the event, the association’s president, Zhanat Omarbekova reminded that in 1992, Dec. 3 was declared the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is why the award is given then.

“This award is a symbol of our society, a society of equal opportunity. Thanks to support from Nur Otan, we can incorporate more organizations into our activities. According to the Kazakhstan 2050 national strategy, we must develop mechanisms to help disabled people socialize,” Omarbekova said.Sholpan Sharipova

The head of the Nur Otan Party office, Kumar Aksakalov emphasized that helping those with disabilities is a written pillar of party doctrine. He also awarded a certificate for the purchase of three wheelchairs for people learning to wheelchair dance. Hungarian Ambassador, Imre Laszlóczki attended the event as a special guest. He expressed his solidarity with the cause and said that the movement is a great step forward for Kazakhstan.

He also awarded a prize to Kazakhstan swimmer, Zulfiya Gabidullina, who won a silver medal during the recent Paralympic Games in Canada.

Chairman of the Ushkin Public Association, Bakhyt Zhumashev won the Public Activity Prize. Disabled singer, Sholpan Sharipova and a wheelchair dancer from Moscow, Maxim Kisilev were also awarded prizes. Medical and social institutions for senior citizens and people with disabilities won prizes in arts and crafts. The Kazakhstan TV channel received an award for raising public awareness. The prizes were given by the vice president of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan and head of the TV Channel KTK, Artur Platonov, who said that people with disabilities are symbols of moral courage, will power and victory over destiny. The last prize, the Patron Award, was awarded to the Minister of Transport and Communication of Kazakhstan, Askar Zhumagaliyev.

Zulfiya GabidullinaThe ceremony continued with a concert given by Kazakhstan singers Tamara Asar, Zhamilya Zharkimbayeva and Kydyrali Bolmanov, as well as recipients of the Zhan Shuak Prize, Sholpan Sharipova (singer), Maxim Kisilev (wheelchair dancer) and Sevda Aliyeva (pianist).

The Confederacy of Disabled People was first established by Iran Omarbekov, who dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities. He initiated the construction of a unique Kazakh-Chinese centre for medical and social rehabilitation, an apartment building equipped specially for people with disabilities, as well as the Zhannat Sports Centre for the rehabilitation of disabled people and a mini-factory for the production of wheelchairs. Since Iran Omarbekov passed away in 2010, his spouse, Zhanat Omarbekova has been continuing her husband’s mission.