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Watch: Sri Lankan woman turns tragedy into trendy designs

Watch: Sri Lankan woman turns tragedy into trendy designs
Copyright Intern 05/
Copyright Intern 05/
By Sharifah Fadhilah AlshahabKashif Khan
Published on
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In a strange twist of fate, losing her sight in a tragic terror attack more than two decades ago gave Ashcharya Jayakody a new vision to rebuild and become a famed fashion designer.

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Ashcharya aspired to be a successful banker, but one day, on her way to work at a private bank, she was caught up in a bomb blast and sustained life-changing injuries. Shrapnel penetrated her forehead, leaving her blind.

The physical and psychological trauma from the tragedy was immense. However, hitting rock bottom awoke the creativity in her that had been dormant since childhood. She used to design her own clothes and believed she could still do so even without her sight.

Ashcharya has not seen the world in 22 years. Her original designs are conjured from the wealth of her mind’s eye. For Ashcharya, a designer is an artist whose creativity is limitless.

While designing clothes requires brainpower, much of the difficulty lies in making them a reality. Translating her vision to her team of seamstresses and shoemakers is challenging.

To overcome this, they create miniature versions of her designs for Ashcharya to feel and touch with her hands. This unique system allows for correcting any misunderstandings and mistakes between Ashcharya and her staff.

Her methods prove effective as she is renowned for her haute couture. Ashcharya hopes her story can inspire others to persevere when faced with adversities.

Journalist • Sharifah Fadhilah Alshahab

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