It’s a Special World, after all!
Special World is an NGO run by Renuka Menon and S Manohari Sekhar. Their interest in the world of special needs stems from Niharika, Renuka’s daughter who is a young adult with special needs. Special World came into existence as a result of their ambition of providing a marketing channel for NGO’s which worked with people with special needs. They help NGO’s make and market products which would sell not only because of who they were made by but because they were beautiful, of good quality and in line the requirements of the current market. They strive to not let the “NGO” tag make them complacent and wish to retain efficiency, economy and above all good quality always.
‘Through Special World, we want to convey the idea that differences are to be celebrated. Our products are special, not only because the people who make them are special, but also because we place a high value on the end product quality’ says Renuka.
Block Printed Bags
Niharika learnt the art of Block Printing from a friend of the family, who works in textiles. The blocks used for printing are based on traditional motifs including the “warli” style of painting, done by Niharika’s uncle, making each design one of a kind! The bags have gained popularity and Niharika has quite a few ardent followers who love and admire her work. The lovely bright bags with beautiful patterns are the perfect gift covers for giveaways at a wedding or festival!
What lies ahead?
‘Special World hopes to grow from one product to many and from one Niharika to many. We aim to be at the top of the line with whatever products we have, and for people to come to us not just for the fact that we work with “specially” enabled people, but also because our products are great. We hope to create a network of NGO’s which work with people with special needs which can make beautiful, high quality products and help them come into the limelight’ , says Renuka. If you would like to purchase a bag from Special world, click here.
A day in the life of Niharika Menon
Niharika, like most young people of her age, loves to sleep in. Once she is up, she gets ready for her day, though a little slower than most of us. She settles down to her block printing around mid-morning. Based on the number of orders, she follows a schedule with the help of a young girl who also works with Special World. Block printing is a physically tiring activity and Niharika is usually ready to wind up after about 3-4 hours of work. Of course, a bit of music livens up the work environment! After the work is done, Niharika relaxes for some time with her music or by watching some TV. She also potters about on her iPad, reading stories or playing some games on it. She enjoys talking regularly to a few close friends and loves drinking her evening tea with her grandfather. On some days of the week, she has her physiotherapy classes which she thoroughly enjoys. Evening is when the rest of the family is home and some time is spent in chatting with each other. She goes to bed listening to music on her radio, ready for another day.