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NEW DELHI: Disability and the lack of a support system around it are known to have impacted the livelihood of millions of individuals. Covid-19 is likely to make things more difficult for them financially, studies have shown.

To help people with disabilities grow financially in the new normal, Mumbai-based Vineet Saraiwala has founded an online talent platform called 'Atypical Advantage', where they can showcase their work and skills.

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Launching today with a collection of over 96 artworks and more than 55 products made by people with disabilities (PWD), the platform has already onboarded more than 200 talented individuals.

The platform will have three major sections—talent, art and store. ‘Talent’ is further divided into 16 categories listing individuals with disability who are photographers, physiotherapists, graphic designers, models, dancers, singers, painters and sign language interpreters. Every listed person will have a dedicated profile page with a short bio, a list of their talents, nature of disability and contact details.

‘Art’ includes paintings, while ‘store’ will have products ranging from clothing, bags, jewellery, fitness accessories and gourmet food with a ‘price label’ and ‘buy now’ tab, allowing people to purchase them directly from the platform.

The platform also has a section called ‘Mentor Circle’ where people from different fields can come forward and mentor them. This would help them grow their skills and career. The platform will also accept volunteers who want to help in scaling up the platform or want to provide financial assistance.

“Lack of exposure creates the greatest divide in society and this is what Atypical Advantage is here to change," Vineet Saraiwala said.

Saraiwala feels this platform can generate immense employment opportunity and has appealed to more people with disabilities to join it. Joining the platform is free. He has also urged corporates and individuals to avail services and buy products from the platform.

An alumni of IIM Bengaluru, Saraiwala heads inclusion for Big Bazaar, a large retailer, and was responsible for making shopping accessible for people with disabilities by deploying accessible physical infrastructure, shopping assistance and sensory friendly experiences like 'Quiet Hour' for people with autism.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abhijit Ahaskar

Abhijit writes on tech policy, gaming, security, AI, robotics, electronics and startups. He has been in the media industry for over 12 years.
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