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Atypical Advantage Brings To India The First Talent Platform For People With Disabilities

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“The hardest thing to explain is glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see .”Ayn Rand wrote this in her Magnus opus, The Fountainhead, which was rejected by 23 publishers before finally making it to the shelves in 1943.

Now shift your focus to corporates, event management firms, Ad Agencies, or Marketing Departments; you would see they ‘capitalize’ every opportunity. They have capitalized on the skills of a beautiful woman to sell everything from cars to fairness creams.

Do You Believe In Abilities?

They have capitalized on polar ideas to generate publicity. They have used celebrities to build trust for untrustworthy products. You must be wondering if there is anything they have never tried to capitalize?

Representational Image. What if we ask you to have a magician with a hearing disability for your next corporate extravaganza?

Suppose we tell them to hire a model for their product shoot or fashion show. The obvious choices would be in accordance with the product they are trying to sell. Most probably a woman with a fair complexion and a slim body type, which is a general standard to represent beauty.

A dark complexion is perceived as ‘ugly,’ and a heavy body type is seen as unattractive. For some who likes to flaunt the inclusive and diverse nature of their company, they would do campaigns using ‘alternate beauty’ as a strategy for yet another marketing gimmick.

And if they were to hire a model with a disability, it would be another sympathy or publicity stunt for once and not because they believe in an inclusive society for every human being. At the core, the question to be answered is, “Do you believe in the abilities of people?

Let’s Celebrate Human Differences In Brand Managing Too

What if we tell them to hire a Graphic Designer to create their next logo, which is on the Autism spectrum? What if we tell them to have a dashing model for their next product shoot without making a fuss about her disability? How about having a Sign Language specialist so that folks in the deaf community could also understand their Brand?

Representational Image. What if we ask you to do your voice-overs by a blind artist?

Maybe a piece of art made by a boy with an Intellectual disability?  What if we ask you to do your voice-overs by a blind artist? What if we ask you to have a magician with a hearing disability for your next corporate extravaganza?

All of these are not just once a year practice, but for all occasions. Not for sympathy but for their abilities. Not for PR but as a way of celebrating Human differences.

Now the obvious questions arise –

  • Where can we find such diverse talents?
  • Do you think voice modulation is possible for a Blind individual?
  • Can people with disabilities dance?
  • How can I trust Talent with Disability for such a grand event?

Atypical Advantage Is The First Talent Platform For People With Disabilities

AtypicalAdvantage is the world’s first talent platform for individuals with disabilities, where you would find stunning models, skilled voice-over artists, skilled Graphic Designers, and soulful singers for all your events and requirements.

Representational Image. Disability does not matter when your hardwork speaks for itself.

Maybe you could also find some marvelous painter or a magician to spellbind your audience. The essence of the platform is to focus on the abilities and potential of humans from a community.

Consider Pranav Bakshi, India’s first model on the Autism spectrum to walk with Denims for United Colours of Benetton or Sagar Kapoor, who is an accomplished singer with blindness who was also selected for Sa Re Ga Ma or Pooja Bodas who is an incredible painter with hearing disability and has numerous accolades to her name.

Disability does not matter when your hard work speaks for itself. The platform gives you the flexibility to choose the talent in different categories as per your requirement. So, you could see the portfolio of a Graphic designer or select from several Hearing Interpreters for making your events accessible.

I know it is tough to even imagine people with disabilities having talent, but just head to atypical advantage. to see it for yourself.

And for a moment, imagine yourself to be Howard Roark from The Fountainhead and not that CXO of a Fortune 500 corporation, not a creative copywriter in that Agency, nor the Boss of the event management firm, but you and Mr. Howard Roark are asked this question on hiring Atypical Talent by your clients, customers and internal stakeholders: “Do you mean to tell me that you’re thinking of doing that way? My dear fellow, who will let you?”

Mr. Roark would answer, Ah! That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”

Atypical Advantage is Planet’s first Talent platform for People with Disabilities. Explore our website to hire diverse talentshop for products made by people with disabilities, and browse through exquisitely curated art.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, read more about us on our blog, sign up for mentorship, volunteer with us, or feel free to contribute here.

Until next time,
Your Atypical Buddy!’

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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