Dr. Uma Tuli
is the Founder & Managing Secretary of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust which is based in Delhi with a branch in Gwalior. She is an educationist, a social worker, rehabilitation professional and a sports woman. The multifaceted Dr. Tuli, has taught for over 30 years in various colleges in Delhi and Gwalior. She is a pioneer in the field of inclusive education as well as rehabilitation of persons with disability. In addition to being Chairperson of the Education Commission, Rehabilitation International, Dr. Tuli is an Executive Member of International Abilympics Federation.

Born on March 3, 1943, Dr. Tuli obtained her Master’s Degree from Jiwaji University, Gwalior, Ph.D in English Literature from the University of Delhi and M.Ed in Special Education from the University of Manchester, UK. She was conferred Doctor of Laws, (Honoris Causa) from Roehampton University, London in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to inclusivity.

Since its foundation in 1981, Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust has now become a trail blazer in inclusivity. Through Dr Tuli’s initiative, an integrated group of Amar Jyoti school students participated in the Republic Day Parade in 1995, a historic first. The unique approach of providing inclusive education, medical care, vocational training, employment opportunities, integrated sports and cultural activities in one premise is Dr. Tuli’s brain-child. Amar Jyoti also conducts courses like Delhi University’s Bachelors in Physiotherapy and Teacher’s Training in Special Education in collaboration with Roehampton University, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Bhoj University & Manipal University.

Dr. Tuli was the first non-bureaucrat to be appointed as Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability in 2001. During her tenure she took several initiatives to implement the Disability Act, 1995 in letter and spirit. The introduction of redressal of grievances through mobile courts, distribution of disability certificates and concessions in bus and train through a camp approach are some more examples of her dedicated efforts. For creation of barrier-free environment in public places, Dr. Tuli introduced an access audit team to assess and make recommendations to ensure accessibility for persons with disability.

Excelling in all her areas of interest, Dr. Tuli was the first Lady Battalion commander to lead the Men’s Home Guards contingent in the Republic Day parade in 1978. She was part of the Indian volleyball team representing the country in the pre Asian Home Games. Five National Integrated Sports Meets, an event where children with and without disability played together, was also Dr. Tuli’s initiative. As a regular participant in the International Abilympics since 1981 in various countries and as Secretary General, National Abilympic Association of India, Dr. Tuli with support of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and Human Resource Development, organized the 6th International Abilympics in 2003 in New Delhi. She has also authored a few books, published articles and presented papers in National & International conferences.

Dr. Uma Tuli’s pioneering efforts led to the National Awards for the best institution and creation of barrier-free environment in 1991 and 2005. She was also awarded President's Gold Medal in 1981 for distinctive services in Home Guards, the Hong Kong Foundation Award in 1987, Nehru Smriti Award, Manav Seva Award, Jhunjhunwala Award and UN-ESCAP appreciation in 1998, the Helen Keller Award in 1999. She has also received the Social Workers Award from Govt. of Delhi and Samaj Sewa Parveena Award for social work by Shri Avadhoot Datta Peetam, Mysore. The prestigious Lakshmipat Singhania - IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award was also conferred on Dr. Tuli in 2011. The most recent recognition is the highest civilian award of Padma Shri conferred on March 22, 2012.