CHENNAI: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” The words of Helen Keller echoed while I walked through the corridors of the Museum of Possibilities on Monday. It was Helen Keller’s birth anniversary and celebrating the Deafblindness Awareness Week, the museum, in collaboration with Society for the Empowerment of the Deafblind (SEDB) and Chetana Trust, showcased the works of an extremely talented deafblind community that is often underappreciated.
The impact wall with real-life stories of hope, the dedicatedly stitched crochet works on the chairs, the sequin decorations on the bottles, the vibrant paintings and tactile story books were not only their portfolio but also the symbols of their struggles, growth and resilience.
Apart from the exhibition of artworks, the museum was also a spot to meet the members of the community who were eagerly greeting everybody in sign language. “We have a group of people who have the urge to get up and fight even after enduring setbacks in life. Most of the kids we work with pick up everything easily as they are trained like that from a very young age but for the adults, it is a difficult thing.
They find hope when they see other people from the community who work independently and that is what we are trying to do — creating hope that people with disabilities can be independent too,” shared Namita Jacob, programme director, Chetana Trust. Namita explained how Sunil, a computer repairer, lost his hearing in his childhood and his vision during his 20s. He was happily greeting everyone and proudly displaying the handcrafted crochet works of his friends.
The Museum of Possibilities was established by the state government and curated by Vidya Sagar, an organisation for the welfare of people with disabilities. “Museum of Possibilities is a demonstration centre of assistive technology for people with disabilities across major life domains. This space encourages interactions with the community of users, creators and innovators. We want people from the community to come together and exchange ideas to create something beautiful. If anybody wants to collaborate with us they are always welcome,” said Poonam Natarajan, founder of Vidya Sagar.
The exhibition will be on at the Museum of Possibilities till July 1 from 11 am to 4 pm. For more details call, Chetana Trust: 9840509739