“GiftAbled Innoventures” a social enterprise and an ecommerce platform for B2B and B2C customers catering only to products made with support from Differently Abled across India… Today I felt like spending sometime and sharing this story of why and how our baby GiftAbled was born:)
Sometimes we don’t encounter problems; rather problems find some of us who have the vision and a resolve to make the world a better place. Something similar happened when Prateek and I working on an event with visually impaired kids had to struggle in order to arrange apt gifts for them. This moment of realization and a vision to bridge this gap led to this initiative known as GiftAbled. Prateek was very clear on starting a Social Enterprise, a business that would help us plan for our next baby GiftAbled Foundation (making it sustainable). Having worked in Social sector and not able to connect much with business part of it I decided to go ahead and register our Foundation first. Yes, in December 2013 we got birth certificate of our first kid, GiftAbled Foundation. I got so involved in the Foundation activities that I gave least importance to the business venture. Finally after couple of back and forth discussions between Prateek and me, our 2nd baby “GiftAbled Innoventure” was born in April 2015… While I never connected much with business, there were certain instances that made me change my whole perspective of Social Enterprise… I still remember discussions that Prateek and I had couple of months back on how to run GiftAbled’s ecommerce store, who all to involve, which all products to include, whom all to hire, should we have a team or just give a try ourselves? Why do we even have this store in first place 🙂 There are already large no. of ecommerce players in India… Are we just one more addition to this list??? Why not just tie up with current ecommerce players? Why do we invest our hard earned money in this Venture? Is it worth it? To explore all of these questions Prateek and I decided to visit couple of NGOs involved in making products with support from Differently Abled and so decided to travel to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Meanwhile we had little and nice passionate team in place, with Sravanthi leading Corporate and NGO meets and Krishna leading the designing of our products, not to forget Madhu who was the first one to join us and support us with Foundation projects. Coming to our travel, we did not have a paccked agenda and moreover Sravanthi had planned our appointments in such a way that we could traverse through the city without any overlap or hiccups. Weather was also on our side for most of our journey.
We would have met some 10 NGOs and each time we visited a new NGO we were amazed by the perseverance of staff in building such an impactful group. We had chance to meet few of the kids (and their parents). Believe me it was so amazing to see that change in each youth involved. As many of you know it’s very difficult for making an Intellectually Challenged to sit in one place for couple of minutes and engage him/her to do any activity. Here we met NGOs working tirelessly and closely on Intellectual disabilities, Autism, Cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities, Learning disability, slow learners, Visual Impairment, Speech and hearing impairment, who are not just making them sit in one place but keeping them engaged for hours together, helping them make their life more meaningful by engaging them in making products and also “earn their own living”. And this journey with Prateek changed my perspective and helped me see things differently.
Earlier I was scared to get into Business part of it but today I am confident that our investment of “our hard earned savings” is being put in right place. I don’t know what future has in store for us and our 2 bacchas, but I just know that, “We are not just any other ecommerce store, we are a store with a difference, we are a store with a purpose, we are a store supporting a cause, and we are a store supporting Livelihood of people with disability and more”
Today I can proudly say, whether business or Foundation “GiftAbled is a Social Enterprise which strives to create an ecosystem of like-minded individuals and collectively build a sensitized and disabled friendly society”.
season is here… And after couple of discussions Prateek and I decided to work with our partners across India and bring to you a Special product, a product that has good time investment by our Special bacchas. Yes! Rakhi festival is nearing and we are here with special Rakhi Thali where each Rakhi is made by our special kids, each Thali is painted with support from them, each small mirror thali is designed with support from them…
We neither claim this product to “perfect” nor to be given it at a low/discounted price or out of sympathy. NO! Please understand this product is made with lot of efforts and love with support from many People with Disability… So we just expect a fair deal for all:)
So before I put an end to my blog this is a question to all sister’s out there… How could you make your Bhaiyya feel special this Rakhi? Think! Think! I am sure by buying our special Rakhi Thali painted and designed by Autistic and intellectually challenged you would not just contribute towards making them earn their living but also make you Bhai feel special by tying this special Rakhi and performing Aarti rituals using this special Rakhi Thali.
Currently Thalis are available at couple of outlets in Whitefield area and yes our “GiftAbled – An Inclusive Store” in Koramangala.
Small Decorated Mirror Thali (with a diya) and medium sized Terracotta colourful thali with diya and kumkum wati and a large sized Terracotta colourful thali with diya and kumkum wati. Rakhi’s. Remember inserting each bead into this Rakhi has involvement of a Special Youth.
Contact us for orders and bulk orders! 🙂 What are you waiting for, just go ahead and make your Bro feel special!
Oh ya meet our special artists engaged for getting this final product to you from across India… at https://picasaweb.google.com/116210802325107708957/MeetOurSpecialArtists
20th July 2016:
While I wrote this blog, I had written it during our special Rakhi season 2015. But today I can proudly say that we can cater to any occassion, festival and any corporate orders with 100s of special gifts. Yes we are Redefining the spirit of gifting – Unique products by people with disabilities…
Adding to my old blog our belief as rightly articulated by Prateek:
YES! GiftAbled is a thought that we all can live with dignity and earn our livelihood. I may not fit in to typical societal norms or silos due to my physical limitation. However, that should not be considered a reason to portray me fit only for charity. I can and will contribute towards building a just, sensitive and healthy society.
Start looking at my Abilities …. I am GiftAbled!!!:)
Not to forget, We won Social Entrepreneur of the year 2015 by Namma Bengaluru Foundation.