Nominations open for this year's Silent Heroes Awards

The five winners of last year's Singapore Silent Heroes Awards were (from left) Mr Jeremy Tong, Dr Bhavani Sriram, Mr Foo Say Thye, Madam Rowena Leong and Mr Aminur Rasyid Mohamed Anwar. The Civilians Association of Singapore confers these awards on
The five winners of last year's Singapore Silent Heroes Awards were (from left) Mr Jeremy Tong, Dr Bhavani Sriram, Mr Foo Say Thye, Madam Rowena Leong and Mr Aminur Rasyid Mohamed Anwar. The Civilians Association of Singapore confers these awards on people who have made a difference in their communities without seeking rewards or recognition.ST FILE PHOTO

For volunteer medical practitioner Bhavani Sriram, patience and diagnosis go hand in hand.

Through the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds), she has seen more than 240 patients in two years and made 40 house visits, providing medical care to those with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.

Due to difficulties in communicating with doctors, people with disabilities often face challenges in getting proper medical treatment and care.

As a former staff member at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where she worked with children with Down syndrome, Dr Bhavani bridged the communication gap and provided medical care to people with disabilities.

The 62-year-old, who currently heads the Minds Developmental Disabilities Medical Clinic, was also instrumental in encouraging specialists in eye care, hearing and dental services to provide assessments and treatment to Minds clients.

For her steadfast service to those in need, Dr Bhavani was one of five winners last year of the annual Singapore Silent Heroes Awards, conferred by social welfare organisation Civilians Association of Singapore.

She won an award in the Hearts of Humanity category, which honours individuals who have helped others with disabilities, or individuals who face disabilities themselves and have achieved their goals.

The hunt is now on to find the winners for this year's awards.

First given out in 2014, the awards aim to recognise people who have made a difference in their communities without seeking any rewards or recognition.

Last year's five winners, who were chosen from a pool of 45 nominations from members of the public, included education specialist Jeremy Tong, 30, and social entrepreneur Aminur Rasyid Mohamed Anwar, 31.

At the age of 29, Mr Tong was the youngest Singaporean to attempt to scale Mount Everest twice. Despite failing in his first attempt in 2017, he pushed ahead and succeeded in reaching the summit last year.

This year's edition of the awards - the seventh - is open to individuals across five categories, including a new category called Compassionate Foreigner, which will recognise any foreigner working or residing in Singapore who has made extraordinary contributions here.

Affected by his uncle's cancer diagnosis in 2005, Mr Tong used his efforts to raise funds for cancer, raising $13,000 in 2017 for the Singapore Cancer Society.

Mr Aminur, who was helped by a mentor to find his confidence in school, co-founded a social enterprise, Junior Art Lab, to impart digital literacy skills to disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

Junior Art Lab acquired touch-enabled computer devices which can help people with disabilities and special needs with their learning.

Both men won in the Inspiring Youth category last year.

This year's edition of the awards - the seventh - is open to individuals across five categories, including a new category called Compassionate Foreigner, which will recognise any foreigner working or residing in Singapore who has made extraordinary contributions here.

Nominations for the awards are open until Oct 18, and a virtual awards ceremony is expected to take place on Nov 21.

Nominations from the public will be shortlisted before a panel of judges selects the final winners in each category.

To submit nominations, go to www.sgsilentheroes.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2020, with the headline 'Nominations open for this year's Silent Heroes Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe