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This engineering student could be India's 1st disabled video model!

December 11, 2017

26-year-old Mahalakshmi Mahadev from Bengaluru breaks the norm in many ways.

She is India's first disabled TV model and has featured in a 44-second advertisement for a textile brand.

Mahalakshmi is a polio-survivor and this becomes clear only at the end of the ad when she is placed back in her wheelchair.

Mahalakshmi, who is an technology graduate, says she was nervous at first during the shot but is now happy to make the point that the disabled can do everything. And that it is important for advertisements to turn inclusive.

Her dream to become a model came to life thanks to Chennai-based designer Shalini Visakan, who specialises in adaptive clothing for the disabled. Visakan Rajendiran, the husband of the designer, was also keen to feature a disabled model for their clothing line. No one was coming forward to feature a differently-abled person as a model.

The idea of showing her in her wheelchair at the end was to motivate others, say the ad filmmakers. The team is encouraged by the positive response to the advertisement and is ready to make such ads for anyone with disabled models. So if you are interested, this is your chance!

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