Vasundhara Joshi, DNA | Last Modified - Feb 12, 2013, 04:48 AM IST
Ahmedabad: At present, he has an organisation named ‘Sunrise Candles’ where a team of 82 works. They have made around 7,500 designer candles so far.
He may be completely visually impaired but he sure knows how to create beauty. Bhavesh Bhatia showcased handcrafted designer candles made by him and 82 other differently abled people at the exhibition ‘Memories’ in the city.
Born and brought up in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, Bhatia started off as a NCC cadet and went on to give his best as a hotel manager. But at the age of 29 years, he lost his eyesight and was left with hundred percent blindness. It was a hard blow to take.
When his mother was ailing from cancer he applied to the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Mumbai and learnt how to make designer candles there. After his mother passed away, another blow, he took on the responsibility of taking care of his family.
He sat outside a church with a small table selling candles in Mahabaleshwar and soon made friends who were challenge in some way or the other. Visually impaired children, women and senior citizens and the physically challenged help him create beautiful candles. Mind power, acutely developed sixth sense and in-built creativity helped him in his vocation.
At present, he has an organisation named ‘Sunrise Candles’ where a team of 82 works. They have made around 7,500 designer candles so far. He encourages the challenged to become self-reliant and not beg. “We don’t want sympathy, we just want opportunity,” he always says. The team also makes paper bags from waste newspapers and has also set up an orchestra.
Some of the candles have exteriors of bamboo and coconut while others are floating, aroma gel block candles with fragrances like vanilla, jasmine, strawberry and lavender. Bhatia has gained immense popularity with actors and celebrities who flock to his workplace. A wax museum of handcrafted candles has been set up by the visually impaired people in Mahabaleshwar. His team aspires to start making phenyl, organic soaps, envelopes and incense sticks if they get much-needed support.
He says his visit to Ahmedabad has been delightful and fulfilling. “I really appreciate the warmth and energy of city people.” Instead of giving flower bouquets, companies have been encouraged to buy these candles as gifts. Even sweets are replaced by candles for occasional gifting. “My aim is to make the longest candle and get into the Guinness Book of World Records,” he says.
Visually challenged Bhavesh Bhatia and his team create designer candles, setting an example of self-reliance