WOI Feature: Shalini Visakan – Adaptive Clothing Designer

Shalini Visakan, Founder of  Suvastra Designs who made Adaptive clothing fashionable & accessible for people who may experience difficulty in dressing themselves. Shalini’s first design was for her husband Visakan, who is a polio survivor. Shalini shares about herself & her Journey as a Designer with WOI.

Shalini Visakan Adaptive Clothing Designer for WOI
Shalini with her Husband Visakan

Age, education, place for business is never important. You can be a full-time homemaker yet be a successful entrepreneur. All that matters is your will to who you want to be

I was born in Hyderabad, when I was in my 12 th standard my father passed away. I had to take over the family responsibilities. So I joined work in a school. Simultaneously, I did b.com. In 2009 I got married to Visakan who is a post-polio survivor. After marriage me and my husband together were taking care of his petrol bunk business for 4 years.

As, I had already told my husband about my interest in fashion designing at the time of our wedding. One of his friends who was working in NIFT told him about opening in diploma course. So I joined it as it was only 4 hours a day.After finishing the course, in the beginning – I designed for few portfolio shoots and small music videos.

Shalini with Gulfam Ahmed
Shalini with Mr. India Wheel chair 2015 – Gulfam Ahmed

Since, me and my husband use to travel a lot we faced a lot of difficulty due to the inaccessibility of toilets and transferring him from his wheelchair to aircraft.

So, we thought if something can be done in the clothing to make it easier. Like placing handle in the pant to lift him without hurting him. And, That is how our journey towards adaptive clothing started. Biggest Struggle through out my journey was, Anything new takes time in the society to be accepted and used. Convincing people, that it is useful and how much life changing it is – was not easy.

Shalini Visakan with her husband
Shalini and Visakan

My husband’s friend’s mother who is also a post-polio survivor would be able to wear only nighty but she loves wearing saree while she goes to temple. So I made her a dress which looks like a saree that could be worn like a nighty.  It was a wonderful moment When she wore it and thanked me!

Adaptive Clothing Designed by Shalini
Adaptive Clothing Designed by Shalini

While designing dresses, it can take many trials and we could face multiple failures. I would say Never give up, this is going to make u more creative and it is worthy! Today, Being an entrepreneur gives me a lot of self-confidence and satisfaction also I am being independent. My husband has always been the supporting factor for me in achieving my dreams!

-Says Shalini Visakan.

WOI’s Note:

Thankyou Shalini. You are truly a selflessperson contributing your best to our society! We are proud to feature your inspiring story on WOI. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Keep Inspiring 🙂

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