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  • Top 10 Companies that Celebrate Diversity and Support Disabled Artists through Art

    Published on June 14, 2024

    Did you know that in India, out of a population of 121 crore, 3 crore people are living with disabilities, making up 2.48 % of the total population? But the real challenge isn’t just in these numbers—it’s in the heartbreaking reality of unemployment among them. Out of these 3 crore individuals, 1.3 crore are ready and willing to work, yet only 34 lakh have found employment.

    Despite these odds, many talented artists with disabilities find solace and expression through art. As Alan Cohen beautifully put it, “Art is the highest form of hope.” For these artists, art is more than a pastime; it is a beacon of hope and a profound purpose. With every stroke and splash of color, they create masterpieces that reflect their boundless imagination and unique view of the world.

    Most of these artists are self-taught and have triumphed over immense challenges to create a dignified profession without seeking sympathy. In this journey towards empowerment, our nation’s largest livelihood platform Atypical Advantage and leading corporations stand as allies by integrating their artwork into workplaces, not just creating opportunities but nurturing dreams, turning brushstrokes into bridges of understanding and compassion.

    Here is a list of 10 remarkable artists, each showcasing their best work. They are supported by 10 compassionate corporations that believe in the power of diverse talent and the importance of workplace inclusion reminding us that nazariya (perspective) is more vital than nazariya (eyesight).

    1)           Akshay Mathur is a 25-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder, whose artistic prowess knows no bounds. With a passion for painting, photography, and graphic design, Akshay has always pursued his craft with unwavering determination. Thanks to Tata Power, his talents found a deserving platform to shine, allowing the world to witness his strength through his artistry. Akshay has created a mural of the size 51.8 x 5.8 ft for the plant. The other was done by a different artist. infusing themes of neurodiversity, awareness, and liveliness to mark Autism Awareness Month in April. Through his art, Akshay inspires others to embrace diversity and celebrate the beauty of individuality.

    2)           Niyaz Hussain, hailing from New Delhi, was affected by polio at the tender age of 2. Despite growing up in a lower-income family, he excelled in art. To support his siblings, he worked in the sabzi mandi after school. However, his innate talent eventually caught the eye of others, leading him to pursue art professionally. Nestle invited him through Atypical Advantage to create a Warli art for the walls in their office, themed around sustainability, farmers, and operational aspects of Nestlé Business Services

    3)           Gayatri Gupta, an artist with Down Syndrome, has not let that stop her from achieving a dignified profession. With a love for photography and a keen eye for detail, she explores her passions through abstract paintings that capture the moods of the earth and the moon. TIAA commissioned 58 of these paintings for their Pune office, requiring them to complement the cool blue and grey interiors. Gayatri was one of the artists to have contributed to this project. Her selected artworks explore the natural world, from changing seasons to serene landscapes, using vibrant colors and intricate details to evoke emotions of wonder, tranquility, and joy, inviting viewers to appreciate the beauty and interconnectedness of all living beings

    4)           Thyagraj, an artist from Bengaluru with a locomotor disability, has been drawn to painting from a young age. He creates works that reflect his passion and resilience. Dell invited Thyagraj and other artists from Atypical Advantage to create paintings on themes of sustainability, inclusion, diversity, transforming lives, and culture for their new office. The artists transformed Dell’s new office with their vibrant art, aligning with Dell’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and embracing diverse perspectives in their workspace.

    5)           Aishwarya A was a passionate artist with spina bifida who had turned her hobby into a profession. Despite her challenges, she created inspiring artworks that challenged perceptions and celebrated the beauty of diversity. She was invited to create a 3 ft x 2 ft masterpiece for Accenture, focusing on sustainability and diversity, reflecting the company’s values. Her work was highly appreciated by the company and its employees, which speaks volumes about the brand’s efforts towards inclusion awareness.

    6)           Shreya Gupta, a profoundly talented artist despite her hearing impairment, has pursued her passion with unwavering determination, earning degrees in Fine Arts and Visual Arts along the way. Mad Over Donuts recognized Shreya’s exceptional abilities and commissioned her for a significant project: a 5 ft x 3 ft painting to adorn their Shreya only did it for one store. The other was done by Ajay. This commission not only celebrates her artistic brilliance but also serves as a testament to the brand’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity.

    7)           Saideep Gupta, a 14-year-old with Down Syndrome from New Delhi, expresses himself through vibrant creations, finding joy in art, music, and food. Saideep was one among many other artists commissioned by Brookfield Properties to create 10 artworks on gratitude, enhancing the company’s spaces with meaningful and uplifting art. These art pieces  not only showcase their artistic talents but also embodies Brookfield Properties’ commitment to inclusivity and fostering creativity in all individuals.

    8)           Hrishikesh Vispute, diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, is pursuing a Diploma in Fine Arts and creates pieces that convey deeply personal and thematic messages. Global investor GIC invited him to create artworks depicting agility, ambition, and harnessing diversity, representing the company’s key cultural attributes.Hrishikesh felt proud and a sense of fulfillment in the awareness program.

    9)           Ajay Kumar Garg, an artist with a hearing disability from Jaipur, was invited by goStops to create wall murals for their properties, capturing the travel culture and local vibes using the brand’s color palette. Ajay is renowned for his successful exhibitions and his remarkable ability to capture the essence of local culture through his art.

    10)         Arveend Budh Singh, a self-taught artist with a locomotor disability, is known for his grand and detailed paintings exploring social and religious themes. Air Liquide invited Arveend to create a 55-square-foot wall mural art backdrop painted on-site, reflecting the company’s ethos and inspiring the audience. This collaboration showcases Air Liquide’s commitment to inclusion and highlights Arveend’s remarkable talent despite his disability.

    As we reflect on the inspiring journeys of these remarkable artists, let us remember the power of resilience, creativity, and acceptance. The partnerships between the artists, Atypical Advantage, and India’s leading corporations signify a collective commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the celebration of talent


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