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India’s First Male Model With Autism, 19-Yr-Old Pranav Bakshi Is Rocking The Ramps

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In his photoshoots or on the ramp, 19-year-old model Pranav Bakshi from Delhi is sure to be deemed as India’s next budding supermodel. His natural flair in fashion added on to his oozing confidence, already made him a poster-favourite within months of his debut in modelling. But, Pranav being a model has a greater significance than it might be perceived from pictures. He is, in fact, India’s first model with autism.

“It amazes me how effortlessly he catwalks on that ramp or poses for the photoshoots. With no prior experience, and while combating his health conditions, he has done so much. I am super proud of him. He says he wants to be a supermodel forever,” shares Pranav’s mother Anupama Bakshi, overwhelmed with happiness.

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Nothing can dissuade him from his dreams

Pranav had been a happy, healthy, cheerful baby until two years when the first signs of autism started becoming prominent. Autism brings with it a lot of complications and there had been grave times throughout his childhood when his health would degrade suddenly. His family had to frequent the hospital emergency regularly.

“At those times, I would pray for him to just live. The fighter that he is, he overcame all of it and look at him today. Alongside modelling, he has an intense passion for dancing and incredible know-how of music. He also has a knack for photography, making sure to get the perfect angle, focus and timing every time. We would often find him dancing his heart out in the middle of the night. I guess that’s how he can adapt so easily to the pulsating beats while walking on the ramp,” narrates Anupama.

India First Model Autism
Source: Ninjas Model Management

At times, Pranav does have serious bouts of anxiety, but he has found his own ways of overcoming them and focus on his ambition. He maintains a journal where he documents all his tough times and episodes of struggle. However, none of these can ever dissuade him from following his dreams.

Pranav’s ‘love at first sight’ with modelling

So how did Pranav happen to develop such an ardent passion for modelling? Anupama says the story dates back to three years when Pranav was 16 years old. He had attended a theatre workshop as part of the creative therapy for individuals for special needs.

“There, the organisers introduced him to the concept of ramp walk and he literally fell head-over-heels in love with it,” Anupama admits.

Initially, she had brushed him off when Pranav first expressed his wish to become a model. “My daughter told me, why can’t he be? That’s when I decided to take his wish seriously,” she reveals.

A perfect artist

On his way to different places, Pranav would click pictures of billboards with the suave and debonair male models and show them to his mother, saying that he wants his face to be among them.

Anupama dropped hundreds of emails to modelling agencies, appealing to them to represent Pranav. However, there was no response from most.

“I did not ask them to register my son out of sympathy. I wanted everyone to take note of his inherent talent and dedication,” Anupama asserts. Finally, Ninjas Model Management, an agency with a penchant for models with stories, signed Pranav in.

Nninja Singh, a supermodel and the founder of the agency, shares how deeply devoted Pranav is. “When I met him, I found him fascinating. Even though he is new to modelling, he has already got amazing exposure. He is very excited about all of this,” she shares.

Fashion is not about clothing or styling, believes Nninja. It’s an art in which Pranav has every potential to be a perfect artist.

Fashion takes the centre stage in Pranav’s life

Top clothing brands have already invited Pranav to walk the ramp flaunting their latest collections. His photos are all over the magazines, newspapers and the city’s shopping arenas.

Anupama shares a heartwarming story about Pranav – of the moment she witnessed the iron determination of her son. “Pranav was doing amazing in his graphic designing course. So, naturally, I assumed that that’s where his true passion lies. I explain everything to him in very pictographic ways. One day, I drew a set of concentric circles as per his priority. At the core, I kept graphic designing and kept fashion at the peripheric circle. Pranav interrupted me and wrote fashion in the central circle. I realised that I had to help him pursue it,” she recalls.

India First Model Autism

Pranav is incredibly conscious about his lifestyle choices since his newfound profession mandates him to follow a strict routine. He exercises every day and makes sure to keep himself healthy and fit. “If you ask him for a second serving of ice cream, he would straightaway decline even if it is his favourite,” his mother informs.

A true inspiration to everyone

He did have his fair share of challenges initially on the ramp. The crowd, the blinding lights, the narrow aisle would give him stage fright; the rushed instructions from backstage would also unnerve him. But to his mother’s delight, he has managed to impress at the final event every time. “The expressions, postures and the typical body language of a model – all come very naturally to him,” she reveals.

Pranav shows the world that nothing can ever be an impediment to true passion. He is an inspiration for not just people with special needs, but for each one of us who hesitates to follow their dreams. Efforts For Good applauds Pranav for his incredible achievements at such a tender age and wishes him more success in the days to come.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns

Supporting Education Of COVID Hit Students

19,200 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

Share

Supporting Acid Attack Survivors During COVID

26,651 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

Share

Providing Clothes To Tribal Children

1,11,860 Raised
Out of 9,00,000

Share

Back To School : Supporting Rural Education

28,631 Raised
Out of 15,00,000

Share

Rahat COVID: Relief Work by Goonj

1,04,887 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

No To Hunger : Free Meals To Underprivileged

5,87,014 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Provide Ambulance : Help Them Reach Hospital On Time

3,82,370 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Support Pranitha To Donate Oxygen And Ration Kits

8,35,618 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

Project Annapoorna : Become A Hunger Warrior

7,582 Raised
Out of 1,50,000

Share

The Stray Project : A Thought Of Humanity

41,094 Raised
Out of 2,50,000

Share

Ended

Stand By Ladakh

40,962 Raised
Out of 1,00,000

Share

Closed

Support our Frontline COVID Warriors

25,615 Raised
Out of 5,00,000

Share

KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

97,02,146 Raised
Out of 1,00,00,000

Share

Campaign Closed
Brought machinery

Empower Poor Women To Rise Out Of Poverty

1,36,544 Raised
Out of 3,85,000

Share

9 Happy Fridges Installed
Ordered a minivan and sent for modification

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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