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Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a disorder of the central nervous system that seriously affects your motor movement wellness. After seeing her father battle with the disease for years, 21-year-old Vidhi Bhargav, a final year student of fashion communication at Symbiosis Institute of Design, didn’t think twice when it came to her subject for her final year project; a user-friendly bag for those whose wellbeing is affected by PD.
Vidhi deliberated for days and met neurologists and social workers, besides building on her own life’s experiences with her father, before creating a ‘miniature sling bag’ designed specially for Parkinson’s patients. She presented her bag, called the ‘Nazaria’ collection, last week to 80 patients at a special event organised by Parkinson’s Mitra Mandal at Kesari Wada in the city.
According to Vidhi, ‘The design, though simple, is very effective for Parkinson’s patients. PD is a problem when a person’s movements get affected. Their movements are slow and gait awkward. They may suddenly become stiff and need medicine to normalise. The bag I designed is a sling bag since PD patients require their hands to be free to hold on for support as they might stumble due to their gait.’
The material of the bag is extremely light and does not add burden or affect posture. Vidhi added, ‘The bag has compartments to hold a mobile, medicine and a bottle of water. In this miniature size, bags with these specially designed compartments are not available. But a patient may suddenly require medicine and water, which is important to have at all times. Also the bag has no buttons, but a velcro as once a patient gets stiff, he may have difficulty in dealing with buttons.’
Neurologist Dr Rajas Deshpande commented, ‘I was initially wondering what kind of ‘fashion’ product could help Parkinson’s patients, but this idea is fantastic and a much-needed product. The attention to details is good.’ Vidhi attributes the bag’s success to her father, whose resilience and grit in fighting PD was an inspiration. ‘I wanted this collection to be a tribute to my father, my hero and inspiration through the lessons I learnt from his life. I hope this small design input can help make lives a little easier for other patients,’ she said.