Dr. Uma Tuli Professional Biography

Dr. Uma Tuli
  was born in New Delhi in 1943 and was educated in Gwalior where she flourished both in academic and in co-curricular activities.   Dr. Uma Tuli has a multifaceted personality of an educationist, a social worker, a rehabilitation professional and a sports woman. She was the first non-bureaucrat appointed by the Government of India as Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities from April 2001 to April 2005.

Dr. Tuli has a Doctorate in English Literature from the University of Delhi.  The University of Manchester also awarded her the M.Ed in Special Education for her dissertation on "Efficacy of Integrated Education". She was conferred Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, from Roehampton University, London in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to inclusivity.

She is the founder of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust rendering rehabilitative services at Delhi and Gwalior with the holistic approach of providing integrated education, vocational training, medical care and self-employment in one premises.  With this pioneering concept of integrated education, the schools run by Amar Jyoti in Delhi and Gwalior have an equal number of children with and without disability studying together.  The intellectually challenged are socially integrated in the same premises as per their special needs.  The Trust also runs a number of Vocational Skills courses.

Amar Jyoti’s affiliation to the University of Delhi and Indira Gandhi National Open University have not only sensitised these august institutions in the country to the needs of the persons with disability  but  have also helped such persons get their rightful place in  society.   In September 2008, Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust has started a Professional Practice Certificate course in “Aspects of Learning Difficulties for children and young people with disability” in collaboration with Roehampton University, UK and accredited by Rehabilitation Council of India.   The Trust is preparing to start yet another one year course in Post Graduate and three months Certificate course in Working with Pupils with Learning Difficulties in Physical Education and Sport with Roehampton University.

With special understanding and a practical approach, Dr. Tuli has introduced this concept even in sports and cultural activities.  She has organized five National Integrated Sports meets involving  persons with disability as well as the non-disabled in equal number in different parts of the country.  

Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust is recipient of two  National Awards -  for the best institution  in 1991, and for creation of barrier free environment in 2005 from the Hon’ble President of India,  also has been accorded the status of National Member Organisation  by Rehabilitation International.  Dr. Tuli is a  National Secretary of  RI in India.

In  2000, Dr. Tuli led the Indian team that participated in the 5th  International Abilympics -  "the Olympics of Vocational Skills”   in Prague, Czechoslovakia.   After attending three International Abilympics in Japan, Hong Kong, and Prague, Dr. Tuli initiated hosting of the 6th International Abilympics  in New Delhi in November 2003.  Dr. Uma Tuli, is an Executive Member of International Abilympics Federation.  

Dr. Tuli has presented several papers in National and International Conferences. She also helped in drafting the 1995 Persons with Disability Act in India.  She has authored “The Spirit Triumphs” and “Better Care of Children with Locomotor Disability”.  The book “Seen, But not Heard” – India’s Marginalised, neglected and vulnerable children” also carries a chapter written by Dr. Tuli on “Breaking Barriers - Physically Challenged Children”.

Dr. Uma Tuli helped in creating a ‘first’ in the history of India’s disability sector by getting persons with disabilities to perform in Republic Day Parade celebrations in 1995.  Her contribution in the Disability sector has earned her National and International Awards.  The most significant of them are  Padma Shri for Social Work 2012, Manav Seva Award, The Helen Keller Award in 1999, UN-ESCAP appreciation in 1998, the Hong Kong Foundation Award in 1987, Nehru Smriti Award and President's Gold Medal in 1981 for distinctive services in Home Guards, Jhunjhunwala Award in 1998, the special Recognition by the Michigan Berkeley City and the Women Achievers award instituted by the consortium of women entrepreneurs,  , Lakshmipat Singhania - IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award 2010  and  Rehabilitation International awarded the Presidential Plaque for Exemplary Service in October,  2012 and Kelvinator Gr8! Women Award 2013 for Education

She was  Chairperson - Education Commission,  Rehabilitation International, USA for four years till October, 2012

She is a Member – Advisory Board Voice & Vision, National Resource and Training Centre for Children with Visual and Multiple Disabilities, including Deafblindness   Mumbai,  Member, Core Advisory Group on disability, National Human Rights Commission, and several other Committees of  Govt. of India.

Dr. Uma Tuli has been nominated as a member of the General Body of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), Advisory Board of Gyanshree School (under the aegis of Haldiram Educational Society) and Advisory Board of ITM Global School, Gwalior, Managing Committee of several DPS schools.

Dr. Tuli desires to accomplish her mission of an India, which places its citizens with disability on the same platform as a non-disabled citizen.   

Amar Jyoti  has embarked  on a new journey with  the opening  of  a unit  for  Children with Deafblindness and  Multisensory impairment  in collaboration with Sense International   (India).  The main effort of the unit would be  training and management of these students  in various  life skills  and   to prepare  them for social inclusion  and  to mainstream them  in  academic  classes if possible .  

The unit was inaugurated by Ms. Vrinda Sarup,  Secretary, Dept. of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development  in the presence of officials from Sense International (India) .