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Kanchan Dharajiya (29) is a young woman with a weak hand and legs that cannot bear her weight, struck as she was with high fever when she was a child. But Kanchan possesses tremendous fortitude. She is crafting a 100% handmade, hand-stitched denim trouser which will not only be showcased on Parisian and Japanese runways but also bear her signature in thread, reports The Times of India.

"I am excited that some rich man in a foreign country will wear the trouser so painstakingly hand-stitched by me. I have done five trousers so far and look forward to sending my earnings to my daily-wager parents," said Kanchan.

Kanchan is part of a 25-member team of young people with physical disabilities at Apang Manav Mandal (AMM). They are executing the designer line '100% handmade', a joint initiative by Delhi-based CellDSGN and Arvind Group.

"The garment aims to be a labour of love where the khadi denim cloth is ginned, spun, woven and dyed by hand in Gondal. The garments, mostly trousers and half pants, are hand-stitched. The line will be launched across Europe and Japan," said design consultant Sangita Shroff, a former NID alumnus, who volunteers with AMM. She coordinates the 'Earn while you learn' project, helping the disabled youth learn vocational skills.

The hand-stitched line using traditional processes is the aesthetic brainchild of Ahmedabad's Shani Himanshu and Smita Singh Rathore. The youth were given training for one-and-half-months and were taught to take each stitch in a way that epitomized finishing and strength, according to AMM trustee Meher Medora.

Meanwhile, the special project translates into good money and even a life direction for many of the youth. Mandip Gohil (19), who has severe disability in his feet, has found a career calling. "I have hand stitched five trousers and will get Rs 800 for each. I wish to become a fashion designer and start my own unit someday where I can showcase the magic Indian artisans can do with their hands," said Gohil, who is pursuing his BA as an external candidate.

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