- NGO Tamana caters to children with disabilities and autism
- NGO Tamana aims to spread awareness about inclusion and integration
- The NGO was honoured as world's No. 1 Special School in Education in 2017
New Delhi: The backstage is buzzing with excitement and nervous energy. From last-minute fixes to touch ups, the designers and their models are all filled with anticipation as the countdown begins for the fashion show. After all, this is no ordinary fashion show, nor the models walking the ramp, the usual pros.
On August 12, NGO Tamana organised its 13th annual fashion show, in association with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), for people with disabilities. The aim of these fashion shows has been to spread awareness about the “Inclusion and Integration” of people with disabilities.
This year’s theme for the inclusivity walk was titled “Fashion Beyond Boundaries,” reflecting the acceptance of differences and unique abilities of every individual and their inclusion in society as equals.
For an industry known for its superficial parameters of beauty, Fashion Beyond Boundaries broke many stereotypes.
NGO Tamana is a Delhi-based non-profit voluntary organisation catering to the mentally challenged, multiple disabled, and autistic. It has been advocating the cause of people with disabilities for more than a decade.
For people with disabilities, the hardships and barriers can be more daunting than for others. They form the world’s largest minority community. And yet, when it’s about narrating their stories, they have either been reduced to detrimental type-casts or left out of the conversation.
Every year, the NGO hosts an event called “The Tamana Fashion Show,” which exhibits to the world the power of people with disabilities.
It is a fundraising event, as more than 50 per cent of the children in Tamana are both disabled and poor. The event is conducted to support the children, the services of physiotherapists, special educators, speech therapists, occupational therapists, logistics, etc.
This year, the ensembles adorned and exhibited by the NGO’s students on the ramp were adapted from the artwork series “Happy Colors”, created by National Awardee and Designer, Tamana Chona.
Ms. Chona said,
I was walking the ramp and these special children, you won’t believe it, they are attending school, and doing other things. We love them from our heart and soul. Please don’t shove them in the cupboard. There are no boundaries for these special children. These kids need love.
Talking about the show, NGO Tamana’s Founder and President, and Tamana’s mother, Dr. Shayama Chona, said,
Staying committed to celebrating the beauty in diversity, our tireless efforts towards better representation of our diverse society have allowed for an increasingly inclusive society. Inclusion is about giving every member of our community a chance to reach their fullest potential to ensure that each of us is able to contribute fully to our collective success as well. The founding principle of this fashion show is quite simple: all are created equal. And inclusion creates a unity that goes beyond fashion. I thank every entity committed to celebrating the beauty in diversity.
The show saw various performances by Diwakar Sharma, one of the contestants from the SaReGaMa Little Champs show, and the NGO’s budding singing sensation, Rahul C Menon.
The event also showcased the ensemble crafted by several prominent FDCI and participating designers, including Anju Modi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Payal Jain, Ira Berry, and Namrata Joshipura, among others.
Talking about the event, designer Anju Modi said,
This is one of the fashion shows very close to my heart, and I have been associated with it for the last 5-6 years. I feel it is so important to work for inclusivity. It is not just work, you really need to include people around you, be considerate of their emotions and talent. You can see Tamana as the inspiration, her creative works, etc.
Tamana also honoured several philanthropists and good samaritans working towards the inclusivity cause.
This year, the FDCI’s theme was “Khadi and Handloom”. Through their creations, the designers attempted to display Khadi as the symbol of freedom of thought, bringing about a significant change in the lives of people.
Sunil Sethi, Chairman of FDCI, said,
The Fashion Design Council of India has been collaborating with Tamana NGO for many years now, hoping to integrate the feeling of oneness through the medium of design. This year, the theme is Khadi and Handloom. It is emblematic of freedom of thought, bringing about a silent but perceptible change, celebrating “Fashion Beyond Boundaries”. The objective of the FDCI by being a supporter of this event continuously is to ensure that the social barriers are broken through the medium of fashion.
Designer Anju Modi called ‘conscious fashion’ as the need of the hour. She said,
It existed 75 years ago and when Gandhi ji led the Khadi movement and must be continued today.
People still tend to create boundaries between the enabled and the disabled, and NGO Tamana works on bridging the gap. The organisation is equipped with in-house diagnostic facilities and offers an individualised educational programme for each student of the organisation.
Tamana has won several accolades, such as becoming India’s top autism centre. In 2017 and 2018, the NGO was honoured as the No. 1 Special School in the Education and Annual School Rankings.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.