- CNM Business Reporter
*Joint Venture of UL Foundation and Down Syndrome Trust
A handicrafts showroom, run by individuals with Down Syndrome is to be inaugurated in the city on Sunday. The showroom, named ‘Sargasheshi’, is a joint venture of ULCCS Foundation, the social responsibility wing of Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS) and Down Syndrome Trust (DoST), a Kozhikkode based NGO providing support to individuals and families affected by Down Syndrome.
The showroom is to open on World Down Syndrome Day, which falls on March 21, Sunday by the Mayor of Kozhikkode, Dr. Beena Philip at 2 30 PM. She will also inaugurate the International Down Syndrome Day Celebrations and DoST Awards Ceremony at the Baby Memorial Hospital Hall. This was announced by the office-bearers of ULCCS Foundation and DoST in a press conference held here on Friday.
‘Sargasheshi’ is supposed to be the first project in India to provide direct employment opportunities exclusively for individuals with Down Syndrome. The showroom will function near YWCA in Nadakkavu in the city. It will offer everything from mementos to office and home decor and necessities. Purchasing them is also an opportunity to participate in charitable activities. These items will be good souvenirs for those visiting Kozhikode.
‘Sargasheshi’ is operated in association with the Sargalaya Arts and Crafts Village, Iringal, run by ULCCS who provided training to the adults with Down Syndrome in handicraft making. Selected handicrafts products with required finish made at home by the teams consisting of an adult and their parents will be sold at the showroom. Moreover, the showroom is also managed by women with Down Syndrome.
The ‘DoST Award’ is an honour given to those who work towards a better life for children with Down Syndrome and who inspire them to overcome shortcomings and achieve success in life. Gopi Krishnan K. Varma, who played the endearing role of ‘Ismu’ in the film ‘Thirike’ is the 2021 recipient of the DoST Award. Last year’s recipients of the award are Father Thomas Felix and Divya S. Kozhikkode University Vice Chancellor Dr. M.K. Jayaraj will present the awards at the ceremony. He will honour Tina Mariam Thomas and Najeem, co-actors of the film ‘Thirike’.
Since its inception in 2000, DoST Support Group has held regular meetings with parents of children with Down Syndrome every second Sunday of the month. Moreover, a Down Syndrome Clinic is organized every Tuesday for these children at Baby Memorial Hospital. So far, 950 children have registered for it. DoST has marked World Down Syndrome Day with various events since 2012. This year, DoST decided to hold Down Syndrome Day in association with the ULCCS Foundation. ULCCS Foundation has been working for the rehabilitation of adults with special needs, and has secured employment for 80 individuals, with the help of various entrepreneurs.
World Down Syndrome Day is marked each year on March 21. The 21st day of the 3rd month of the year was selected to signify the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
Founder of DoST and pediatrician at Baby Memorial Hospital Dr. Shaji Thomas John, ULCCS Foundation Director Dr. M.K. Jayaraj, General Manager- Sargalaya Arts and Crafts Village T.K. Rajesh and President of DoST Support Group T. Nasar Babu attended the press conference.