Designers, NGO to create blouses for breast cancer survivors

Mar 05, 2014, 08:48 IST | Ruchika Kher

Delhi-based designer duo Shivan and Narresh have launched a product that they call a mastectomy blouse and have tied up with NGOs Passage and CanSupport to reach out to cancer survivors

Losing his father to cancer and witnessing the physical and psychological pain he went through made Delhi-based swimwear designer Narresh Kukreja (one half of the design label Shivan and Narresh) more sensitised towards the deadly disease.

Shivan (extreme left) and Narresh with Manisha Koirala (in white) and Amruda Nair, launching the blouse
Shivan (extreme left) and Narresh with Manisha Koirala (in white) and Amruda Nair of Sahachari Foundation, launching the blouse

The seed that was sown then, germinated into something bigger when he brainstormed with his design partner Shivan Bhatiya on how could they create something that benefits people suffering with cancer.

“Since we are swimwear designers, we thought of creating a bikini or a swimming costume which can be worn by women who have gone through mastectomy. But we wanted to have a wider reach; we realised that we won’t be able to do that with a costume, hence the mastectomy blouse,” explained Narresh.

Designs of the blouse for women who have lost a breast to cancer

Giving shape to their idea, Shivan and Narresh created the blouse and made it available at their stores in Mumbai and Delhi. “Since that was designer wear, it was expensive.

It worked well with wealthy people, but the idea was to reach out to women, who might not be able to afford a Rs 15,000 blouse,” shares the designer, adding, “So, we started reworking on it, trying to get the cost down.”

Finally, the duo first tied up with Mumbai-based organisation Passages and supplied them with 50 blouses and now with Sahachari Foundation to donate 150 blouses to Delhi-based CanSupport and the Women’s Cancer Initiative Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

“We have pledged to donate 150 blouses to them. Some we have already donated, the rest we will deliver by March end,” said Narresh, pointing at their aim of reaching as many people as possible.

How it works
The blouse comes fitted with an inbuilt prosthetic breast that aims at curing the social trauma that comes with the disease. “Prosthetic breasts available in the US cost almost $350 and are very heavy. The one we have created is light and available in colours like beige, black and few in a light shade of purple,” said Narresh.

You can contribute too
People can donate these blouses as well. All one has to do is to visit the website, click on the option of donation and choose the size they would like to donate. A blouse will cost Rs 2,000.
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