Delhi : Differently abled children took to the ramp in a fashion show that had been organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) on September 15, titled Unity in Diversity, co-hosted by the Hyatt Regency Delhi.
The event kicked off with a live performance by Diwakar of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs, singing a very soothing version of the title track of Khamoshiyaan (2014). Diwakar was led onto the stage by a smiling anchor who would break into a mini dance at regular intervals with him while they would be walking up and down the ramp during the performance.
Students from Tamana, a school for differently abled children, walked the ramp along with models wearing ensembles created by the following FDCI designers – 11.11 CellDsgn, Alpana Neeraj, Amit Aggarwal, Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Nitin Bal Chauhan, Payal Pratap Singh, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Rimzim Dadu, along with other designers – Asha Gautam by Gautam Gupta and Asha Rani Gupta, Ridhi Arora and Namita Bansal.
The children walked the ramp to the song ‘Fashion ka hai ye jalwa’ from Fashion(2008), amongst other famous Indipop and Bollywood songs, waving and blowing kisses at the crowd. Many of them literally could not control their excitement, something which could be seen as they looked around at the crowd in amazement at times, overjoyed that all these people had come to see them walk the ramp and cheer them on.
What set this event apart from the one’s in the previous years was the fact that the ensembles designed and manufactured by the differently-abled at the sublimation unit at Tamana’s Skill Development Centre made their debut on the catwalk.
The chief guest was Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, and since the show was inspired from Japan, FDCI chairman Sunil Sethi made it a point to wear special Japanese glasses, along with a Japanese scarf, pants, jackets, socks and even the perfume he wore.
Other guests of honour were Patricia Hiramatsu, wife of Kenji Hiramatsu, Harinder Singh Sidhu, High Commissioner of Australia and Joanna Kempkers, High Commissioner of New Zealand to India, all of whom walked the ramp with students from Tamana.
“According to me, these kids are born with a mission to remind us that we may have everything, but they are much greater in their purity of heart,” said Dr. Shayama Chona, Founder and President, Tamana.
Tamana was started in 1984 by Dr. Shayama, who is a Padam Bhushan and Padam Shri awardee. The organisation provides inclusive rehabilitative services to individuals with intellectual impairments, multiple disability and autism. Its contribution in the field of disability was also recognised by the United Nations.
Shyama’s daughter, Tamana Chona, was born with cerebral palsy, and after she helped her daughter in overcoming all sorts of obstacles, it inspired her to help other handicapped children too, which is when Tamana -the charitable society- was born.
The evening concluded with Tamana Chona, dressed in Amit Aggarwal, expressing her appreciation to everyone involved, but it certainly wasn’t a typical vote of thanks. Tamana was overwhelmed and ended up walking the aisle six times, including walking with Bollywood actress Saundarya Sharma; Sunil Sethi and finally with her mother.
In her speech, Tamana spoke about how the institution went through extreme hardships when basic amenities such as adequate shelter, electricity and water were also not available. However, as of now there are three completely schools in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. The first centre, Tamana Special School was inaugurated by the late Lady Diana, on February 12, 1992.