In a world of silence, so much can be said:
Imagine a world without sound, Silence!
Imagine a world without speech, Silence!
What if the only sense of belonging you feel to the world when you are physically and verbally detached is art? What if the sheer exuberance that seeps into your veins comes out as the piece of artwork that you mould out? If as an artist, the only thing you get is appreciation then is there a point at all in the creation of exemplary artwork where you can’t even hear a single word of praise?
What started out as a small group of brave hearts making greeting cards and getting recognized by a cult of social activists, Silence is now an NGO that has culminated the thoughts and ideas of innumerable physically challenged and deaf & mute people who have formed a society in themselves to create exemplary pieces of art for the people of Kolkata to like, love and buy. Maybe a little help from us will be appreciation galore for them.
In all their silence, they have been able to form a workforce of 100 soldiers who use their hands and limbs as the only weapon to spread the message of peace. To come out of such barriers victoriously, they have been through a series of problems but have ultimately crossed the milestone.
Sitting quietly in a corner of Dakshinapan in Dhakuria, Kolkata you will come across Silence, a store run by and managed by the physically challenged but their art will dazzle you in ways more than one. With an array of wall hangings, lanterns, scented candles that give out a pleasant aroma, the most intricately quilled cards, and some eye-catching jewellery they are now recognised for by one and all. And that’s not all, kudos to the time & effort put in, everything here is handmade.
Although their aim as an organization is to export their products to various countries, the exclusivity remains at the sole store in Kolkata. They believe in fair trade and self-reliance.
After having a word or two with them, the one thing we could understand from the gestures was that they believe in themselves and their art, and self-dependence is a virtue they swear by. With no help from external sources, each thing on display is curated and made by the wilful efforts of the members of the organization.
Stock up on the best:
The aroma that exuberates from the incense sticks and the candles in various shape and sizes are available at throw away prices, something that shows how simplicity is a factor that is buried deep inside the heart of the maker. Available in mogra, lavender, rose, lily and much more, prices start at Rs 100.
The paper mache lanterns are available in pastel shades with an undertone of dim lighting that will radiate a sense of warmth and calm in the room.
The greeting cards that are quilled to perfection have personalised messages incorporated in them and are made for every occasion or for absolutely no occasion at all. What we realised was that you may not always need a reason to acknowledge the presence of someone in your life, hence they come up with cards for every day that you are thankful for.
If you are a jewellery junkie and are a connoisseur of knick knacks and souvenirs, you will not be able to cross the shop without letting out a gasp at the fine detailing of the handmade pieces of earrings and necklaces. Need something to hold your stuff in? The paper bags made out of thick paper is a must have. Coming in all sizes and vibrant colours, these eye-catching bags and folders for your essentials are available from Rs 70.
A steal, isn’t it?
That’s not all.
The organization also aids its members by giving them the benefits of Provident Fund, ESI and Gratuity facilities. They have also come up with a voluntary monthly savings scheme in association with Life Cover Policy from Life Insurance Corporation of India.
To give out light in a moment of darkness: