It all started with Shalini Visakan’s wheelchair-bound husband having troubles being lifted up and in working his way around which often led to a shoulder dislocation.
“My husband uses a wheel-chair and whenever we had to travel, he would need to be picked up, because of which he often had shoulder dislocations. So, I attached two belts, like handles, on either side of his pants. This makes it easier for us to lift him up,” she explains.
Shalini Visakan is a fashion designer from NIFT who saw the need and possibility of designing clothes for people with disability.
Her next project involved her wheel-chair bound Aunt who usually stayed in nighties avoiding sarees for its complex wearability. This made her stay at home and avoid public outings. Shalini designed a unique, one-piece saree for her. This attire had attached pleats and blouse which made it extremely comfortable for her Aunt to wear independently.
From here on started the journey of her brand, “Suvastra Designs”.
“A few small changes in my outfits help me be less dependent on others. If we go to tailors, even for small changes, they say we can make two churidars in the time we make alterations for you. So, such a clothing brand is very useful for us,” he said.
However, in the same breath, she admits to the challenges she faces due to different disabilities having different requirements.
“Everyone has different problems. For people who have spinal cord problems, it is difficult for them to make fine finger movements, so I use Velcro, magnetic buttons and zips in their clothes,” Shalini explains.
Nevertheless, she is determined to take this opportunity of catering to the disable to another milestone. This Sunday, Shalini is all set to launch at Hilton Chennai.