Auckland teenager Muskan Devta has won the Attitude Supreme Award for 2015.
The awards were held on the 4th of December to coincide with the UN sanctioned "International Day of People with Disability", recognise Kiwis with disabilities excelling in areas of sport, art and community work.
The 16 year old author, radio host, and public speaker was born prematurely in her home country of India. As a result, she has a condition called partial hemiplegia, which makes half her body weaker than the other.
Because of this and her difficulty speaking English as a second language, Muskan experienced bullying and exclusion as a child in New Zealand. But now at just 16 years old, she is a published author, award winner and sought after inspirational speaker.
“I decided to go ahead and accept myself for who I was,” says Muskan, “this hemiplegia was something I would have to live with throughout my entire life – so why worry!”
Muskan presents a popular programme on Radio Tarana called ‘You and Muskan’. She was an Intermediate school class captain, and is a tech wizard, assisting other students with IT issues.
Muskan has also written a book on her life journey to date from India to Auckland. The proceeds are going to Starship hospital. Her next projects will support breakfasts for less privileged children in lower decile schools in Aotearoa, and supporting a school for girls in Orissa, India.
The inspirational Kiwi has also been invited to participate in events like the TEDx Conference in Auckland, the Festival for the Future and Zeal's Tall Poppy conference
This month she started a popular social media movement: Makes a Difference (#makesadifference) that encourages others to perform random acts of kindness and promotes empathy and understanding.
Devta wants to become an ambassador for children with disabilities, promoting inclusiveness and empathy for children who feel different because of their disability.
“You pretty much do your own life and you make your life what you want it to be.” - Muskan Devta
Other Attitude Award winners were:
- Otis Horne (Courage in Sport)
- Nick Chisholm (Spirit of Attitude)
- Rachel Callander (Making a Difference)
- Michael Johnson (Sport Performer of the Year)
- CQ Hotels Wellington (ACC Employer Award)
- Nicholas Brockelbank (Junior)
- Salem Foxx (Artistic Achievement)