A calendar for the year 2021 that features 12 people with diabetes presents a positive reminder that diagnosis of the metabolic disease does not amount to the end of a patient’s journey.
Featuring the likes of models such as Aishwarya Sakhuja and Megha Gupta; emcee and radio jockey Megha; Pune-based fashion designer Priyanka Raajiv and owner of Maapro Foods, Nikunj Vora, the calendar exemplifies that if managed well, diabetes does not have to make for an unpleasant experience.
The calendar was shot entirely virtually by Fahim, a senior photographer who teaches at the FTII, says Nupur Lalwani, founder director of the Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation. Lalwani has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was eight years old. A certified diabetes educator and a management professional, she believes that knowledge and awareness are vital tools to empower people living with diabetes.
“We are introducing three types of calendars — desk, wall and e-calendar,” says Lalwani, adding that the project has been conceptualised for charity. Each page includes a diabetes fact and a reminder for the quarterly HbA1c test. “Our purpose is to normalise diabetes by creating a safe space for patients, so that they may engage in dialogue about the complications of living with diabetes,” says Lalwani, who has also been featured in the calendar.
Model and actor Aishwarya Sakhuja, who has been featured in the calendar for the month of January, has had type 1 diabetes since she was two years old. The month of February will feature nine-year-old Kashvi Khatri who has type 1 diabetes. Three-year-old Arish Contractor has also been featured in the calendar; the pre-schooler has type 1 diabetes.
Snehal Nandagawali, the Mumbai chapter lead at the Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation, has also been featured in the calendar. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001. Employed as an IT engineer, she says that the aim was to prove that people with diabetes can lead full, healthy and happy lives, if they take good care of themselves and have an adequate support system in place.
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