MUMBAI — Designer Umair Zafar loves designing clothes and garments. He also wants each collection or line to be associated with a social cause. From chikankari karigars (artistes) in Lucknow to artisans in Kashmir, Zafar has always supported a social cause every year. This year, he has taken up the cause of acid-attack survivors.
Though he hails from Lucknow, Mumbai is his second home, and Zafar has decided to showcase his 2016 collection supporting the cause of acid-attack survivors.
Zafar recently held this show in Lucknow and plans to bring the same event to Mumbai in early 2016.
“It was really inspiring to interact with those girls and women in Lucknow, who in spite of their physical deformities caused by acid attacks, were confident and particular about their taste and choice. They walked the ramp shoulder-to-shoulder with other professional models with utmost confidence, grace and poise, thanks to the training given by choreographer Sameer Srivastava,” said Zafar, who took extra care to ensure that the outfits donned by them were comfortable yet fashionable.
According to Shahab Ahmad, one of the patrons of the event, “This is a social cause, and we are really proud to associate ourselves with it. We thank designer Umair Zafar for his zeal and support and look forward to doing several events in different parts of India.”
Talking about a participant, Zafar said, “Anshu’s right eye has lost its sight, and the left one barely had any light left. In an acid attack last year, her face had been disfigured. But, as the 17-year-old waited for her turn to dress up, her courage was already evenly lit up on her face.”
“I am not nervous or scared. I was not even scared when I should have been. Why then should I be scared of walking the ramp?” stated Anshu, who was one among 15 such survivors from Uttar Pradesh to walk the ramp at the Virangana Samman Awards 2015 organized by the NGO Ummeed and Zafar.
“The walk was to honor the survivors and dispel the narrow meaning of beauty we carry with us. All these women are beautiful in more than one possible way,” declared Balbir Singh, founder, Ummeed. Several survivors from Fatehpur, Unnao, Bijnor, Faridabad, Bareilly, Agra and other places joined in with Anshu for the highlight walk.
Zafar gifted the garments to the survivors as a token of his appreciation for their effort and support. Besides Lucknow and Mumbai, Zafar now plans to hold similar shows in various parts of India, including Delhi and Bangalore.