Designer for physically disabled

Designer for physically disabled

When in class 5, this young girl developed concern for her wheelchair bound English teacher. Often spotting her mentor in simple and repetitive clothes, Tavleen Dhingra could not understand the reason behind the same.

This continued until she enrolled herself in a fashion school and realised that there are hardly any clothing options for the physically disabled.

Therefore, when given a chance to deliberate on a project idea for The Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition conducted by Laureate International Universities network, Dhingra decided to work on
clothing for the physically disabled.

“Being a student of Fashion Business Management, I did not know anything about designing and had to work in tandem with the design team from my college,” says this student of Pearl Academy who started from the basics, “learnt the basic principles of designing” under the guidance of her faculty and came up with Zwina – Unique Clothes for Unique People. It is a brand which specialises in creating smart clothing for the physically disabled.

“We categorised the clothing line in four categories for – wheelchair bound, those suffering from spinal curvature, having limited dexterity and prosthetic limbs,” explains Dhingra who interacted with the physically disabled to find out about their requirements.

She mentions having purposely replaced buttons and zips with magnetic closing to make the clothes user-friendly.

“For the wheelchair bound we have designed flap-open bottoms. Those who cannot stand, need to be lied flat on the bed and the pants can be wrapped on them like a diaper with velcro,” says Dhingra who has also paid attention to create loose and detachable sleeves for those with prosthetic arm. 

“Also, we have kept the design element in mind and paid most of the attention on the top while keeping the bottoms plain,” she adds explaining the need to keep the focus on the upper body of the wheelchair bound.

“But the major concern was to make this business plan feasible and thus I decided to present it as a one-stop shop showroom for all those with physical disability, be it temporary or permanent,” says Dhingra as she narrates her experience of being a part of the Laureate Leadership Summit, where here five minute speech on her business proposal left the audience in tears!

“It was a proud moment for me when all the CEOs of leading companies and other eminent personalities lauded my efforts. But unfortunately I couldn’t be awarded the first prize since I being only 20-year old wasn’t old enough to execute the business plan according to them,” she says with a glimpse of disappointment in her eyes even after having lost it to the team from Mexico.

Her sulking hopes rise again at the mention of five thousand dollars that she has been awarded as the second prize and also the scholarship to study in Milan!

“After two years, they have promised to support me in my venture and I shall definitely set up what I set down to do,” she says with conviction as one wishes her all the best for her noble effort.   

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