‘Dreams of Us’ brings together people with disabilities, provides them platform to showcase skills
‘Dreams of Us’ is a venture launched by eight people at Kozhikode in Kerala with the sole aim of empowering disabled people. Started in the year 2016, they have a handful of programs of which their art event ‘Swargachithra’ is the most successful one.
‘Dreams of Us’ is a venture started by a few people at Kozhikode in Kerala with the sole aim of empowering people with disabilities. Through their varied, interesting programs, disabled people are given a platform to experiment and showcase their skills. Registered in the year 2016, ‘Dreams of Us’ has been instrumental in empowering hundreds of people with disabilities in Kerala. Its founders have a handful of interesting programs that are geared up to be implemented soon.
Founding ‘Dreams of Us’
It was in the year 2016. A few people from different walks of life came together to do something for welfare of society. One of their projects included holding camps in which people with disabilities were also part of.
“That is when we realized that there is a larger need for inclusion in all spheres. Disabled people were being sidelined. We thought of projects that can be developed for their welfare. That is how ‘Dreams of Us’ was started and registered in the year 2016. By 2018, we created a wider space where more disabled people were included”, says 32-year-old Sukhadev KS, one of the founders.
Apart from him, there are seven other people who are part of starting ‘Dreams of Us’.
‘Swargachithra’ to promote arts
Realizing that there are many disabled people with talents for art, team at ‘Dreams of Us’ decided to do something to empower them. They launched ‘Swargachithra’ in 2018 where disabled artists were brought together under one roof. In their first show, they brought 21 disabled artists and showcased 50 of their works. “These artists were not renowned names. Their talents were unnoticed since they were confined inside their homes”, says Sukhadev who is also a trainer for deaf people.
After the success of first edition of ‘Swargachithra’, the team gained confidence. “Our disabled artists were glad that their works got sold. This boosted their confidence. So they started painting more. All the money from the paintings were handed over to the artists itself”, adds Sukhadev.
In 2019, they did a bigger event with 50 disabled artists and 100 works of which every artist and their works got recognized. They launched a program where each of their team members would travel from Kasargod to Trivandrum, two ends of Kerala, to meet more talented people from the disability space. In 2020, ‘Swargachithra’ was held with 80 artists and 100 works and all got sold.
Handful of projects at ‘Dreams of Us’
Sukhadev stresses on the importance of more people learning Indian Sign Language (ISL). He says there are 70 million deaf people in India and hence ISL must receive better national recognition.
Some of their projects include ‘Sign Language for all’ where sign language is taught to a larger audience, ‘Silent Dreams’ for deaf people and ‘Out of the box’ where disabled people are guided for leadership programs to involve them in mainstream society. They are all set to launch ‘Dream Stage’ where disabled people will be given platforms to showcase their skills. ‘Dreams of Us’ is also going to do an online fest to bring performing arts and craftspeople together.
Watch in Sign Language
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