Have you ever experienced that exhilarating feeling when you find out that someone loves you, admires you, and cares for you? Unconditional love is something all human beings crave, then how can vitiligo fighters be any different. After all, it feels good to matter—to be important to someone.
Unfortunately, many people find love on the basis of their appearance —being a “pretty girl” or “handsome boy”. This could be one of the reasons why many vitiligo fighters never really experience true unconditional love up until their late 30s. But, not feeling loved can be somewhat dangerous as it leaves your emotional state to the whims of someone else. Hence, it is important to learn how to love yourself. AARUS Foundation, a non-profit organization working on vitiligo awareness at the grass root level in India, helped many vitiligo fighters do that.
This Valentine’s Day, the foundation organized a photoshoot for vitiligo fighters under its ‘Be Your Own Valentine’ drive. Founder Akash Tiwari spoke to one of our representatives, “We, at AARUS Foundation, are driven to spread the light of vitiligo awareness amongst the masses and serve as inspiration for people living with vitiligo. Hence, we thought of doing something new that nobody had attempted in India before.”
Akash says the main intent of the photo shoot, which was organized at Kandivali (Mumbai), was to motivate vitiligans to come out of their shells and portray their confidence and embrace self-love. After all, loving one’s self does not mean developing a shell and blocking out the world. It doesn’t mean forgoing relationships and only enjoying being with yourself.
A few days before the photo shoot, registration for the same was opened on the foundation’s Facebook page. “We received registration from 45 vitiligans, out of them 25 attended and became part of the shoot. We had folks coming from different cities like Mumbai, Indore, and Pune. Some even came from Gujarat,” Akash shares some details.
The drive was completed in the presence of Mrs. Ruchi Mane (a Member of Bhartiya Janata Party) and Nishant Jha (Film Writer and Director). All participants were clicked by ace photographer Rohan V Tulpule.