As we get closer to New Year, many organisations have brought out date-keepers showcasing the talents of people with intellectual and physical disabilities
A visual delight
A beautiful house with a tree in full bloom on its side marks February in this desktop calendar made using 12 paintings done by students of Government High School for the Blind, Olassa, Kottayam. The initiative is led by Ananthu Vasudev. “I have been volunteering with friends here from 2012. In 2016, we introduced the children to art. They loved it and we decided to come up with our first fundraising calendar last year. We sold around 800 copies and it encouraged us to bring out this edition too,” he says.
The artwork was done by the students early this year. Kids with complete blindness use their fingers to draw and those with partial visibility use brushes. “We help them identify colours and also hold their hand if they need it,” he says. The team took digital copies of the paintings and 12 graphic designers volunteered to help them design the pages. “Each designed a page making the sheets unique,” he says.
Cost ₹550. Proceeds will be used to improve the infrastructure of the school that has a total of 44 students in Classes I to X Call 9947790008 or visit @ manbehindme_ on Instagram.
Through my eyes
This desktop calendar by The Art Sanctuary, bengaluru features photographs clicked by eight photographers with intellectual disabilities. Selected by Delhi based photographer Mohit Ahuja, these are portraits, landscapes and abstracts. Shalini Gupta, founder-trustee of the NGO,says this is the first calendar brought out by them. “All the photographers attended a photography course we organized and led by Mohit. Last year, one of the students, Varun Naren came up with a calendar with his photographs. He has fragile X Syndrome and the calendar was designed by his mother, Veena Naren. This encouraged me to launch one to showcase the works of all the students. My eldest daughter Advika Gupta helped me to get the designs ready,” she says. “We aim to show the talent of people with intellectual disability to the world. I am planning to bring out a calendar every year from now on,” she says.
The proceeds from the sales will only cover expenses. Call 9810255297 for details; ₹150
Block printing done for the planners
The year in blocks
Project Sneh has a set of planners with block-printed clothbound covers done by people with special needs in Chennai. The not for profit company works to bring institutions for special needs together and create employment opportunities for them. This year’s planner has works from 20 people from four institutions: V Excel Educational Trust, HLC International School, Gowrin Special School and Sri Arunodayam Trust. “We started the work for planners last month. Each planner is a labour of three days of work. There is no plastic lamination for the cover making it biodegradable,” she says Anuradha Mahesh, team lead. Project Sneh now works with a total of nine institutes, facilitating skill training for educators. They also produce and help market laptop and tablet sleeves, folders, professional organisers, chocolate hampers, notebooks, coasters and more, made by the adults.
The proceeds from the sales go to the individuals. Call 9840076322, visit snehindia.com, or email [email protected] for details; ₹425
Calendar by Kaumaram Prashanthi Academy
Brighten your day
Kaumaram Prashanthi Academy, Coimbatore has brought out their first calendar with artworks done by 60 children with intellectual disabilities across India. “In October, we organized a painting competition on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. We selected the best 12 artworks and used these to represent each month in the calendar. The rest of the paintings have been made into collages for the front and back pages of the desktop calendar,” says Narmadha Vasudevan, Executive Secretary of the school. The paintings featured are on varied themes. “We did not want to give them a subject and constrain their creativity. This calendar is meant to raise awareness on the talents and creativity of children with intellectual disability,” she adds.
The proceeds of the sales will be used for the running of the school. Call 9659305550 for details; ₹110
Oddity: Don’t Bend, Don’t Blend
Delhi based photographer Rishab Dahiya and researcher Purva Mittal have launched Oddity: Don’t Bend, Don’t Blend, a desktop calendar that features six people with special needs. “I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy and I have been working with many organisations for people with disabilities for the past 12 years. It was a dream to come up with a calendar and when I spoke to Rishab about it, he also had thoughts on the same lines,” says Purva. The calendar features six models —Purva, Anubha Mahajan, Faisal Ashraf Nomani, Soniya Malik, Pranav Bakhshi and Manisha Prajapati — with disabilities from Delhi. “We selected them as we wanted to cover a broad spectrum of disability featuring both visible and invisible conditions. Each model is featured with a detailed description of their condition. We hope that helps to create a change to bring more inclusivity,” says Rishab. He took one week to complete the shoot. “It went smoothly, and all the participants were very comfortable. We hope to do this every year now,” he says.
The proceeds from the sales will be donated to six organisations working for people with disability. Call 9999715802 for details; ₹500