Express Message Service
CHENNAI: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, only felt in the heart.” Helen Keller’s words resonated as I walked the corridors of the Museum of Opportunities on Monday. To celebrate Helen Keller’s birthday and Deafblindness Awareness Week, the museum, in partnership with the Society for the Empowerment of the Deafblind (SEDB) and the Chetana Trust, showcased the works of a hugely talented and often underestimated deafblind community.
The Impact Wall of real-life stories of hope, the lovingly sewn crochet on the chairs, the sequin embellishments on the bottles, the vibrant paintings and tactile storybooks were not only her portfolio, but symbols of her struggles, growth and resilience .
In addition to displaying artwork, the museum was also a place to meet members of the community, who greeted everyone eagerly in sign language. “We have a group of people who feel the urge to stand up and fight, even after enduring setbacks in life. Most of the children we work with learn everything easily as they are trained that way from an early age, but for the adults it is a difficult thing.
They find hope when they see other people in the community working independently, and that’s what we’re trying to do – create hope that people with disabilities can also be independent,” said Namita Jacob, Programs Director, Chetana Trust. Namita explained how Sunil, a computer repairman, lost his hearing in his childhood and his sight in his 20s. He greeted everyone happily and proudly displayed his friends’ handmade crochet work.
The Museum of Opportunities was set up by the state government and is curated by Vidya Sagar, a welfare organization for people with disabilities. “The Museum of Opportunities is a demonstration center for assistive technologies for people with disabilities in important areas of life. This space encourages interaction with the community of users, developers, and innovators. We want people from the community to come together and share ideas to create something beautiful. Anyone who wants to work with us is always welcome,” said Poonam Natarajan, Founder of Vidya Sagar.
The exhibition can be seen in the Museum of Possibilities until July 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Chetana Trust for more information: 9840509739