Disabilities may divide us, but our talent unites us.

Can a Girl on the Autism spectrum bag a Bollywood film?
Can a Non-Verbal boy get screened in the Mumbai film festival?

Between meritocracy and Minority, exists the invisible Atypical world. As Maya Angelou once said “I believe that every person is born with talent,” we believe that too. We have been used as characters in blockbuster motion pictures leaving the audience in an emotional flux, but then again, no one came looking for us outside the theatre. That’s the story of the people in the our small Atypical world. This world belongs to the invisible and the ignored or left to pity. I remember reading on someone’s T-Shirt, “The Future is Inclusive,” I smirked. It was for the people who had a future, we struggle in the present. Let’s meet some of my friends who are changing the narrative to a truly inclusive future with their talent. Excited to meet them?

Ananya Halarnkar: Singing Sensation.

Do you watch Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)? Ananya was there! She performed with her other band mates. Ananya is part of a six pack band 2 set up by Yash Raj films. Here is a photo for you.

Ananya started receiving training in classical music at an early age from Ajivasan Music School from where she has completed her Sangeet Visharad training with distinction. She is training in Gandharva music and planning to appear for their examination. Our friend is a pursuing BA in psychology from Bhavan’s College and wants to take up music as a career. Her latest feat was a chorus in the movie Raazi.

Hire her here for performing in your marriage, Anniversary, corporate event, or a surprise get together.

Usaid Shaikh: The Versatile Artist.

He is 21 and versatile. You might be amazed to know; he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder very early and since then, he used art and sketches as means of communication. We all believe in the power of practice and Usaid seems to have redefined it. Growing up, he picked up singing, drumming, dancing, tried his hands on animation and piano. He aspires to become a filmmaker. We say this with confidence that he will become one after watching his first short film “True Happiness” which was screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF). Usaid has won numerous awards for his exceptional talents and skills. I know you would like to watch his work too, so here is the link.

He joins the Atypical Family with proficient graphic designing, Photoshop, video editing, 2d and 3d animation skills. He has work experience of 2 years as a freelance graphic designer. He has designed T-shirts, mugs, tea coasters, fridge magnets, book marks, logos, labels, product graphics, event flyers, cover page and back cover, and has worked on projects of graphics and video editing.

Hire him here for designing your logo, T-shirt or any work with Graphic & he will rock the show.

Pooja Bodas: Master with a brush.

Pooja was born in 1988 in Mumbai and when she was six months old, it was confirmed that Pooja cannot hear any sound that is below 95 DB. After completing her graduation in Fine Arts, she is all set to make her mark as an artist. Pooja’s artwork has been in exhibitions and has been appreciated by art lovers across countries. She joins the Atypical family with her canvas and brushes. Her excellence in art has been celebrated by us in our atypical art gallery.

Buy her memorable paintings to decorate your house here.

Sometimes a question racks my brain — are we not deserving enough? And then I turn to my television to hear the great politicians of the world making us the protagonists of their next election campaign, or a brand claiming to make us the next ambassador. To be honest, we are scattered, that reminds me of Engels and Marx — “Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!”, the popularized translation of the sentence reads “Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!” I feel for us, it’s time to unite as we have nothing to lose but our talents to showcase. Our friend Usaid, a graphic designer, Ananya, a singer and Pooja, an artist from different regions of the country have already come together. They are helping us build Atypical Advantage and we here we stand united.

Atypical Advantage is Planet’s first Talent platform for People with Disabilities. Explore our website to hire diverse talent, shop for productsmade by people with disabilities, 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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