How an INCLUSIVE event must look and feel: Reshma Velliappan 

Reshma is an artist, educator, gender and disability activist with many awards and she wears many hats. Do look her up on Google.

About AD-DRESS NOW the grand finale of our adaptive clothing design contest  at Hyatt, Pune. 

I’ve been invited to a lot of events, gatherings, talks, spaces, functions ever since 2004 where it concerns my issues with #disability with my schizophrenia+epilepsy+synesthesia+whole lot of other invisible issues. 

I’ve been repeatedly asked & judged by other people with physical disabilities as to why must I need accessibility. It’s not like I need a ramp, a language interpreter, textured walls, large toilets etc. I’ve so often stood outside the exit door next to the toilet for my own award functions. I’ve often had to dash out of talk shows and find a quiet dark space for myself & people would pass it off as me being restless or having an anxiety attack. Many friends and family members have thought I don’t have interest in attending their events or gatherings. But that is far from the actual truth. If my own event can exhaust my senses and nerves, where I need to stand alone elsewhere and enjoy drumbeats - how will I enjoy your space? BUT, 10 days ago out of the fear from the same repeated stimulation I’ve had my entire life at every single space- I found comfort and the ability to sit/stand through an entire program without running out the door every 20 minutes. 

AD-DRESS NOW by EKansh Trust, Pune made that very difference. There were lights floating on the ceiling that made me smile. It wasn’t hitting my vision. The sound system, the platform, the light control, all of it was just perfect! The food- was just the right amount and not overpowering in smell. The colours around the space, the fabric and texture of the chair I sat on, the wall I was leaning on, the entry was not overcrowded like a fish market. I could navigate my sense through every space and person as there weren’t too many people either. 

Thank you to Ekansh and of course personally to Anita Iyer as I do know you were the only one in that room who was aware of the range of sensory issues someone like me comes with. Now this is a moment I will definitely remember cause I enjoyed every single minute of it. Thank you once again Anita Iyer for just remembering. This is what inclusion feels like. 

You would have noticed I have not shared these kind of post for a whole lot of other spaces I have been to including spaces like Tedxs! because the residues of after effects of overstimulation would have still lingered in my brain. Patterns are so important for us. 'Normal' brains don't get affected by it until old age maybe and I don't wish to hide behind glares. Technology has done wonders for a lot of other people, but there are a rare few of us who can't enjoy it at so many levels. 

AD-DRESS NOW made me connect with someone else who also experiences the world as I do in this area. If you can't change the space since the world is a large place, one can change minute details like this. Even the thought of it makes so much of a difference. 

Keep going Ekansh!

Anganwadi Feedback

It is necessary for teachers in Kindergartens to know how to identify disabilities in children. They may not be qualified to diagnose it but it is essential that they advice the parents to take the child at the right age for early intervention to experts and doctors. 

Our prevention, detection and early intervention awareness outreach workshops among anganwadis across Maharasthra, Bangalore and Goa are ongoing. 

Encouraging youngsters to understand Disability and Inclusion

The course on "Disability :Awareness and Inclusion" curated by Ms Anita Iyer for her NGO Ekansh trust has been conducted successfully for the past two years at St.Mira's College for Girls. The course has enhanced the understanding of the students on disability issues by challenging attitudes amongst both those with and without a disability. The Course encouraged the participants to discuss their preconceptions of disability and their fears of interacting with people with disabilities. It has a good mix of theory and hands on practical exposure and interaction with various stakeholders in the field of disability awareness. Ms Iyer is an engaging speaker with nearly 20 years in the field of disabilities, she strips down the complex issues to their understandable essence — and clearly communicates the steps anyone can take to respond properly to people with disabilities. Her presentations cover specific issues, sensitivities, and level of awareness within each organization. The.students get an up close look at the lives of people with disabilities — and a wealth of tips for treating them with respect. The trainers knowledge and understanding made the experience one that was most enjoyable and rewarding and the outcome every time is an informed audience who are more sensitive to an inclusive world. 

Dr Jaya Rajagopalan Principal in-charge, PHD Psychology, head of department. St.Mira's College for Girls , Pune-1 

The certificate course was conducted twice at St Mira's College in consequent years. It was repeated at Christ College, Bangalore for Final Year Students of BA English

Accessible India Campaign: Access audits for government buildings -EKansh Trust empaneled by and under the expertise of Anita Narayan. 

23 buildings audited for Cochin Shipyard. 

Mrs Anita Narayan has conducted accessibility audit of all buildings, premises, Factory area of Cochin Shipyard Limited at Kochi and lnternational ship repair Facility at Wellingdon lsland, Ernakulam single handedly on behalf of her NGO Ekansh Trust. She has also carried out a re- audit on accessibility in the year 2018. I know her from the Year 2016.

Mrs. Anita lyer Narayan has worked closely with Persons with Disability. This was evident from the interaction she had with our own employees with disability and the depth of knowledge she had about their needs in terms of accessibility and workspace facilities. 

She is driven by her passion for inclusion of persons with disabilities and seems to be determined to do her best in all aspects of inclusion. The fact that she handled the entire audit alone with the help of our own civil engineers and experts was commendable. Her vision to provide the required and reasonable infrastructure to achieve inclusion of PwDs is inspiring us to do more in this direction. Her  commitment to inclusion, her honesty, determination,  diligence, depth of knowledge and willingness to share are exemplary traits. She ensures that that empathy drives the inclusion and not sympathy.

…Subash, Deputy GM, Chief Welfare Officer and Liaison officer for PwD

Beginning in 2009, EKansh Trust has conducted several workshops for groups of students, professors and professionals of Architecture and Civil enginnering across the country, influencing many thousands to become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of PwD. These are just some notes from one such workshop. 

A theater group came to our session called SPEECHLESS in 2012.We have been doing groundbreaking work for over a decade. Their reactions still echo in time:


I can’t live without words. OMG...this is possibly the most frustrated I have been in such a short time. To understand what a human being goes thru not being able to speak or react to sounds and words. Is it torture or perhaps the ultimate release?

Does not having words take away the need to have words? What is communication, really? What if I had chosen not to speak at all? What is so bad about silence? Language is more than just noise, no? It is the repository of our existence….how can we allow people to live without it? It is our responsibility to bring them language or leave it upto them to discover which works best for them? Not being able to understand…how does one cope?

Hurt ..loss

You can’t go to the other side..

The other side can’t come to you..

Meet in the middle then..how far is that from where I stand

And am I willing to walk

Who will lead me there

Stranded in an ocean of noise

The noisemakers revel

Envious, scared, shocked

By the sea of silence ……..

Hina Sid - Theatre artist, Neurodivergent LGBTQ story teller, runs a podcast, wears many hats. 

It was frustrating how hard it is to communicate

Understanding the other is a task

Feels like being in solitary confinement with a lot of people around

Makes you hate it that conveying thoughts is so hard …….



Difficult to use sign language [??]

Felt like screaming cos lack of patience

At some point got irritated

While expressing in sign language, felt like speaking

…..Aniket Solanki





I missed MY VOICE

Communicating small pieces of information was taking way too much time

Broken conversation….

Juhi Parmar


The hour spent trying to make conversation pretending to be deaf and non verbal was an eye opener as to what those people feel when we get frustrated trying to explain things. It does help improvising one’s expressions. Would probably help me connect more to people – normal or otherwise.

The exercise helped a lot of brainstorming of how I would express a certain thing more effectively. It was awesome

 Shweta Ghatge 

This was a completely different experience, as I had always seen people talk in Sign Language. I had tried doing that quite a few times but not like this, like making an entire conversation with someone and making that person understand what you are saying. There is a certain disconnectedness that I felt because the only way I could talk was with my hands and eyes. This was awesome in its own way ….Mandar

It is actually very hard to imagine how tough it can be to live a life without sound and not be able to hear. IT takes immense patience to get thru this session for even 10 minutes. So one can only imagine the hardships faced by children and adults who have to live with challenge for their entire lives.

I think there is also general ridicule that a person who cannot hear often has to undergo esp in the movies also in general and it is sad. For everyone who makes fun of such people should be made to undergo this exercise to feel the hardship of the physically challenged.

This exercise also I feel can be used in certain situations which in case we may have to use Sign Language to communicate instead of speaking.

So it was an educating experience…Sameer 

Even the brief period that I was silent, just the absence of any vocal conversation was discomfiting. Being silent can be great fun, what with the sign language and exaggerated actions – but it is only fun because there’s that part of your brain that knows the sound will always return. Thus, I think there was that relieve I felt when I heard the smallest sounds..the whir of the fan, the shuffling of feet, the clap to draw attention – and I can’t imagine a world of absolute silence. I can’t wrap my head around seeing actions and being unable to attach any sound to them…and I imagine it works the other way around for anyone with hearing impediments. Somehow, that’s a scary thought. This definitely helped me understand it a little better, but I know I can understand it a lot better. Silence has always been an uncomfortable thing for me to deal with and just if just the removal of verbal conversation for a little over 15 minutes made me this pensive, I can only imagine what it would be like without the thousands of other kinds of communication


These were theatre artists, blessed with the ability to emote and communicate stories written by strangers to strangers. But stumped when the power of speech and words was taken away from them.

Come attend our SPEECHLESS sessions to find out what you can do without words!

Thank you Hina Sid for bringing your team over for the session and suggesting that they put down their thoughts at the end

Notes like these from students are the best award ever. This is what Anita Iyer who is a visiting faculty at several colleges received on Linkedin. 


I'm Akshat, a student from MIT Institute of Design. We had a lecture with you on inclusive design and it was one of the most interesting lectures that I've been a part of. Since that day I have become more sensitised towards disabilities, including my own! (Colourblindness and dyslexia). I'm glad to share a project with you that's a result of over six month long research on colour vision deficiency. During this time, I have discovered my own disability and everything about it! It is a set of crayons that help children with CVD accurately identify colours. Would love to know what you think about it and discuss further if you're interested. Thank you :)


Our team - Mahesh and Deepak strive each day to help PwD get their online registration for UDID cards and other documentation which are essential for them to get their benefits from the government and municipality. 

I am writing this to convey my sincere appreciation of the efforts of Mr Mahesh Mistri in arranging for issuance of "disability certificate" for my son Sunil, with complete accuracy in uploading all the required data into the UDID system. He has also been extremely pro-active in providing information to me about the different governmental schemes for disabled petsons.

I wish Mahesh  and Ekansh Trust all the very best in your endeavours for improving the existence of the underprivileged in society.

Yours sincerely,

chandrashekhar velankar, pune


Dear Team.

Greetings for the day.

First of all, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

On 18th jan 2023 i was visited for a UDID card in aundh hospital for my son who is mentally challenged . 

I have already filled in a form from an online website for the UDID card.

 Aundh person asked me to meet a team who was sitting in the entrance to upload thump digitally on the website.

Then I met Mr. Deepak Farate & Mr. Mahesh Mistri, they helped the people who were all facing the issues. Then I came to know my form has been cancelled.

I thought now it will take many more days for the UDID card and I have to visit again for the same. But Mr. Deepak Farate had solved my problem with proper documentation from the website. also guided me properly, i am very much thankful for him and your team. All are very supportive and very helpful for the person who is unaware of the system. Also i analized that one old lady come to Mr. deepak with his hendicapped partner. they were not aware where to go. Deepak sir literally went with that old lady and guded her. I am really impressed about his concern, and also about your social service of your team.

Then I came to know about Ekansh Trust & Mrs. Anita Iyyar who started to help the handicapped person.  It is very helpful for the people who seeking help as well proper guidence for the people.

God bless you and your all. team as a mother of hendicapped son wishing you all a blessed future ahead. god bless you all.

Thanks & Regards,

Anandi S Nadar.

RE: Corporate awareness and sensitization session : We do not undertake paid corporate workshops, events or access audits as EKansh Trust from 2020 onwards. Please contact accessavvy@gmail.com / anitaiyer23@gmail.com

Only donations from CSR are accepted from corporates now.