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Bringing adaptive fashion to the world, the Aarambh way

After rocking the fashion ramp last year, Aarambh is all set to rock the fashion world again next month. This show brings people with disabilities on the ramp, and aims to change traditional notions about beauty, fashion and disability.

Aarambh is an initiative of Vadodara-based NGO Vyom, which works to empower people in need. Vyom believes fashion is an effective platform to promote inclusion.

For Aarambh 2019, models with disabilities have collaborated with talented designers to design customized fashion wear and this will be presented on stage.

50 disabled models will walk the ramp in Ahmedabad and there are 50 fashion designers working with them.

One of the models is Jitendra Kumar Dangi who walks with the aid of calipers. He says Aarambh has been a life changing event for him. "I have no words to describe the impact Aarambh and Vyom have made on my life. The initiative has helped many disabled people win confidence in themselves and changed lives positively."

Another model Asha Prajapati , who is a wheelchair user, says taking part has made her feel more confident, socially.

" I have started going out of the house more often and feel more confident now about myself. The organizers have been grooming us for months and I have learned a lot of new things that are making me more positive about the future".

In a world where there are so many stereotypes regarding skin, height, body shape and disability, giving people with disabilities a chance to walk the ramp is a great way to promote inclusion.

There is this idea of 'beauty' which has become a stereotype and this needs to be questioned. People tend to fall prey to social protocols and expect perfection in their appearance. In a situation like this, being able to design and guide my students into designing for the physically challenged was so refreshing! It was in a form 'ethical' fashion designing. - Shriya M Shah, Fashion Designer

Muskaan Kothari is also among the many designers working on the show.

"When I got to know about the fashion show, I was not sure I would be able to do justice", she says. "As I started working with my model and the team, it turned out to be a lifetime experience. My model uses a wheelchair and leads an independent life like everyone else, so I got to understand her needs and developed designs accordingly."

Aarambh, says Kothari, has given her the chance to explore her inner strengths. Truly, a fun and novel approach towards building inclusion among the younger generation.

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