Diwali sale at schools for disabled kids get a grand response
Like all young people his age, 20-year-old Anmol is preoccupied with his future plans. Now, he is sure he wants to be an entrepreneur.
The idea dawned on the young man, who has autism, when his beautiful hand painted diyas, door hangings and soaps were sold out in minutes at a Diwali sale in his school in Delhi. After watching the reactions, he has decided to put his creative skills into business.
Anmol is all set to start his own venture with the help of mother Shailly Sood, who he regards as his biggest pillar of strength.
Like Anmol's school, this Diwali, many others across the country have held special melas and sales to showcase the skills of teens and adults with disabilities. The disabilities range from autism, Down syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The sales have helped highlight how there is so much more to these youngsters apart from their disability.
Jagruti Palak Sanstha is an NGO in Thane, outside Mumbai, that works for the empowerment of children with disabilities. Shyamashree A Bhonsle, who is involved closely with the NGO, is also happy with the success of their sale.
We hold a Diwali sale every year. There are a lot of kind-hearted people around us who wants to buy products made our disabled children. They made painted diyas, paper bags and so on. Some of them drew beautiful pictures which were framed and sold. We even had an order for 600 painted diyas from the United States! We are overwhelmed by the support that we have received. - Shyamashree A Bhonsle,Advisor, Jagruti Palak Sanstha
We all know that Diwali is the celebration of lights, happiness and festivities. For children at the Aarambh School in Hyderabad, this Diwali has definitely lit up their lives in numerous ways. Founder Sharda Ram, ensures that the sale is more like a fair where disabled children can come with their friends and families. The entire environment is inclusive, which makes the child and their families feel great.
"Most of the families are reluctant to take their disabled child to fairs and exhibitions fearing social stigma. We aim to create a space where people with and without disabilities can have a great time. Our children made diyas, key chains, bracelets and home decor stuff. We do not hold this event with a profit motive. We want to spread awareness on disabilities and want the world to know that disabled children can also excel in everything. We have a few more beautiful hand painted diyas that are waiting to be sold", says Sharda.
Pearl Special Needs Foundation in Ahmadabad had a great response as well with over 600 people turning up for the two-day event.
"We try and make our children economically independent. They must know to stand on their own feet. Our pre-Diwali sale was done on a trial basis. We are glad that so many people turned up. We hope to do more such events in the future as well", says Dr Griva Shah, who is the co-founder.
This Diwali has truly brightened up the lives of many disabled children across the country!