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Swarga Foundation's annual calendar pays tribute to women with disabilities

September 24, 2018

Every year, Swarga Foundation releases an annual calendar that celebrates achievers in the field of disability. It's a much looked forward to event as the Coimbatore NGO celebrates people, the known as well as the not so known, in this unique manner

That time is upon us again and the fourth edition of I'm Special features 12 women with disabilities and is titled Women of Substance.

The calendar will be released on 29 September in Coimbatore. Why women? The answer, says Co-founder Swarnalatha J, is but obvious.

In India, being born a woman is hard enough. Sometimes it can even feel like a curse! Being a woman with a disability can be even harder, and despite that many women have come out with flying colours and are inspiring figures in their roles as daughters, mothers, working women or wives. - Swarnalatha J, Co-founder, Swarga Foundation

Founded in 2014, Swarga Foundation aims to improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis and other neuro-muscular disorders. It does this in multiple ways, through awareness programmes as well as improving accessibility in transport and other public facilities.

The calendar features 12 women, with a range of disabilities, all of whom have overcome different kinds of challenges to become role models.

Like Divya Bijur, a visually impaired physiotherapist based in Bengaluru.

"Disabled women are marginalized everywhere in India, in rural and urban settings. A lot of this comes from the desire of parents' to protect them. Even I am very happy if people with disabilities are inspired by me. Why just disabled people, I hope to inspire abled people as well! I will be happy to play a small part in motivating somebody".

Also featured in the fourth edition of the calendar is Mrunmaiy Abroal, who works with Amazon India. Abroal believes it is time people with disabilities took the initiative to become visible.

"When I had an accident seven years ago and suffered a spinal cord injury, I was able to go back to my old place of work as my company knew me from before", says Abroal. 'Later when I tried to move on to another job, people only saw my disability. So, you have to show that you can do it and prove yourself. "

These are women who are challenging stereotypes of all kinds, be it gender or ability. They are truly a sign of change and the calendar is a fitting tribute to their individual journeys.

ALSO READ: India's 1st centre for kids with neuromuscular diseases aims to offer total support to families

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