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Empowering Dreams: Families Championing Special Abilities

Love knows no limits! Inspiring stories of families standing by their specially-abled children

Written By: | Edited By: | April 30, 2024

Why are specially-abled people often encouraged to make handicrafts or candles? Why can’t they have a broader range of career options to choose from?

These were just a few questions that parents of young adults like Tarit, Shaishav, and Vikas were seeking answers to.

In India, there are nearly 30 million people with disabilities. Yet only a fraction find employment, according to reports by market intelligence firm Unearthinsight.

Rather than letting data and statistics discourage them, these families chose to go proactive.

Also Read: Visualising Inclusivity: Photographers With Intellectual Disability Shine Light On Water Crisis

Love And Support Make All The Difference

“When Tarit was born, I was told that he didn’t have much time. I had two options: to accept the reality and be sad, or to give him unconditional love. I chose the latter. And here we are, 31 years later, living our best life!” shares Anju Khanna, Tarit’s mother. Tarit was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth.

Exploring New Possibilities Is The Key

“I am a mother of two children with disabilities. Over the years, all we have done is experiment with their life skills. From arts and music to sports and baking, we have tried all. You never know what would click,” says Veena Kapahi.

Recognising talents of special needs people can be challenging as their disabilities usually overshadow their gifts. Shaishav’s sister, Shreya, says,

“While I was exploring career options for myself, I encouraged my brother to find his passion. We started with baking. Then we made candles for a while.. However, whenever we thought of these as career choices, we wondered if he will be able to stick to any of these for long.”

Mentorship Classes Are Crucial For Both The Child And The Parent

“The key to Tarit’s success was not conventional schooling; instead, it was honing his social and vocational skills. This often requires mentorship for proper identification and development,” added Mrs Khanna.

Tarit and his peers discovered that they shared a passion for photography. Soon, this group of starry-eyed youngsters came together to establish Unique For Eyes Photography, an organisation that would help them and others like them to showcase their talent.

Mrs. Khanna stresses that photography has equipped these young individuals with skills that mainstream education could not.

Their photos now stand as a symbol of inclusion and acceptance. Recently, their work was displayed at New Delhi’s Triveni Kala Kendra as part of the Art For Hope 2024 project. They collaborated with their mentor, Siddhartha Puri, to create digital art focused on water crisis.

Also Read: Samarth Heroes: Advocating Self-Confidence & Rights For People With Disabilities

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