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Countdown begins for Miss Kerala Special 2019 for young models with intellectual disabilities

The Junior Chamber International (JCI) Thrissur, is all set to organise 'Miss Kerala Special 2019', an event for young girls with intellectual disabilities. After their first successful audition in Thrissur, organisers are gearing up to hold auditions in other parts of Kerala as well. They have roped in best names from fashion industry to groom contestants before the finale scheduled for 21 September.

Checking out fashion and following latest trends can be fun. It is even more so when you walk the ramp wearing your favourite designs and apparels. In India, leading fashion brands are yet to embrace inclusion in a big way but a growing number of fashion shows are being held featuring people with disabilities. One such event is the Miss Kerala Special 2019 where youngsters with intellectual disabilities will walk the ramp watched over by professionals.

Organised by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Trichur, the event is going to be a first-of-its-kind in Kerala. The idea came about a few months ago when the JCI was coordinating with Parivar at an event where disabled people were given insurance schemes. That is when their president Varghese Paul suggested doing something exclusively for people from the community. Together, they decided to organise a fashion show for young talents.

We understand that the needs and requirements of young girls with intellectual disabilities are different. We want to uplift them and also give them a platform to showcase their talents. We hope to raise funds from this event so that we can hand it over to these young girls to take care of their medical expenses. -Lakshmi Ajaykumar, Chairperson, Junior Chamber International

All the contestants are between 18 to 25 years and the first successful audition was held at Thrissur on 29 August. Auditions will be held at Trivandrum, Kochi and Kozhikode on 2, 6 and 7 September. Twenty-four contestants will be chosen for grooming sessions and six of them will enter the finale on 21 September.

JCI has spoken to many schools and NGOs for youngsters with intellectual disabilities and even held a survey to look into how many youngsters would be interested to take part in a fashion event. The grand response led them to organise this. "We are expecting a good response for this event because we are doing this for a good cause", says Lakshmi.

Dalu Krishnadas, one of Kerala's most popular fashion stylists, is grooming the young talents. Dimpal Bhal,, a psychologist, is also part of this. "This is a platform for disabled youngsters to help build their self-esteem. It is high-time that the society stops defining them for what they can or cannot do. What these youngsters need is understanding and love, not sympathies. Let us focus on things that they can do. This platform is special for both me and Dalu because we get to learn new things from them. We are going to groom them exactly the same way we groom others", says Dimple.

To register, contact +91 95262-69977.

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