Beyond the Chromosome: Celebrating the Remarkable Gifts of Our Down Syndrome Artisans

Step into the colorful world of Prithvi Babu and Bhuvana, where every stroke of the brush and every step on the production floor tells a story of boundless creativity and unwavering determination. Get ready to be inspired!

It’s March and it’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month. March 21st, in particular, is a day of significance chosen to symbolize the uniqueness of Down syndrome, with its trisomy of the 21st chromosome (21/3), reminding us to celebrate diversity and embrace the extraordinary gifts within every individual. It is a day for us at Diya to proudly recognize the extraordinary talents of every member of our artisan team born with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a person is born with an extra chromosome, altering their physical and cognitive development. Do click on for more information on Down syndrome.

Despite the challenges they may face, individuals with Down syndrome bring unique abilities and perspectives. Interestingly, in January this year, Mar Galcerán made history by becoming Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome. Galcerán is leading the charge for societal change, advocating for a constitutional amendment to replace offensive terms like “handicapped” with “people with disabilities.” This reform, aiming to expand rights, marks a significant milestone in Spain’s legislative history, being only the third change to its Constitution since its inception in 1978 and the first of a social nature.

At Diya Innovations two of our artisans were born with Down Syndrome and the creativity, attention to detail, and unwavering dedication enhance the quality of our products and enrich our work environment in profound ways.

Bhuvana : Assistant: Paper Unit – Making Bags and Building Bonds:

Bhuvana stands out as an expert in bag making, be it paper or assisting with cloth bags. Her ability to focus on tasks for extended periods, coupled with her self motivation, ensures that she consistently delivers high-quality work within the stipulated time. The fact that she takes great pride in reporting back on completed assignments speaks volumes about her commitment and dedication. She is kind and caring with her colleagues and always has a smile, a kind word and a warm hug for them.

A few weeks ago, the team faced a sizeable challenge – screen printing on 3000 bags, on both sides, for a very special client LadyBWell – The Breast Health People and ERIC (Early Recognition is Critical). To prevent ink smudging, each bag needs a slip of newspaper inserted. The trio working in the paper inserts, had been hustling, but they hit a snag – falling behind on receiving the cut paper inserts as the rest of the team was busy with other orders going out. Enter Bhuvana. Our star, born with Down syndrome, noticed the delay and silently took a newspaper piece home, not disclosing why. Late into the night, she meticulously cut the bits needed, using the sample piece. The next morning, Bhuvana walked in with a bag full of neatly cut newspaper pieces, ready to roll.

Her move spoke volumes about teamwork and quick thinking. Without fanfare, she took charge to tackle the paper situation. It wasn’t just about getting the job done; it was about ensuring the team stayed on track. The incident underscores how each team member’s unique contributions play a crucial part in overcoming challenges, showcasing the strength that comes from diverse talents working together.

Prithvi Babu -Assistant: Paper Unit – Artist Extraordinaire:

Prithvi, our second artisan with Down syndrome, also a founder employee, is well known for his meticulous work, attention to detail and organised work ethic. He is also an accomplished dancer and artist. His brilliance as an artist came to light during an art workshop conducted by National Institute of Design, Bangalore as part of their Universal Design course. Prompted with words, he drew from his imagination and blew our minds! One of his sketches, of a dancing clown, was picked to be embroidered onto a sensory pillow, which is now part of Your Sensory Satchel – a bag with items that can comfort people with sensory disorders – soon to be available on our store. Click here to see links to our catalogues:

Through their work, both of them inspire us to embrace differences, foster understanding, and build a more inclusive world where everyone is valued and respected. This month, and every month, we celebrate their contributions and honor these remarkable individuals who inspire us with their remarkable strength, talent, and unwavering spirit.

#downsyndromemonth #downsyndromeawareness #AssumeThatICanSoIWill

Do reach out to us if you have any questions on Down syndrome, want information on organisations in your city that can be resource centres OR simply want to support artisans with Down syndrome. Visit our website, follow us on Instagram and Linkedin and make a conscious choice to choose gifts created by our artisans.

On a separate note – as Autism Awareness Month approaches, we also prepare to shine a light on the unique talents and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum, fostering understanding and acceptance in our communities. Join us in celebrating diversity and inclusion next month – register HERE for a webinar on livelihood opportunities for persons born with autism this April!