LoveActually.me is an online and offline initiative for people with disability, empowering them on the social and professional front. LoveActually stands for live life with love. It is designed for people with disability to come together and meet new people around them. While endorsing inclusiveness, this platform is built with a prophecy to aid sovereign living and social acceptance. It’s working towards becoming one of the largest communities of differently-abled people by partnering with various institutions to impart training and corporates to open their door to help them in enabling this community. As of now LoveActually.me has partnered with NGOs like NavGurukul, Samarthanam, NAB, Para Athletes, PWD Influencers, HR consultants, etc. for bringing the change to PWD. As for offline, Loveactuallyme has a long-awaited list of offline Pan India events which is out to encourage Art and Culture.
Tanushree Sharma is the creative mind and energy empowering this innovative and thoughtful initiative. She has been on the field with her team to collaborate with NGO, mentors, influencers making “LoveActually.me” the talk of the town. Tanushree, a Mumbai girl, comes from a media family but had no intention to walk on the same path and always wanted to do something different.
After completing her post-graduation in International Business, she had an entrepreneurial stint which unfortunately failed without leaving a mark. She decided to go back to the roots and worked hard for 13 years with the start-ups and corporates before starting her dream called LoveActually.me. Early morning at 2.30 am the idea stuck her mind and left no stone unturned making this a reality. She is approachable and helpful when it comes to start-ups.
As being people’s person, she has been managing the community. Tanushree along with the community are eagerly waiting for the release of the social cum professional app.
Here’s what she had to say regarding her journey so far:
What’s the inspiration behind LoveActually.me?
As LoveActually is dedicated to the unspoken community my inspiration was personal. I lost two important members of my family… Disability doesn’t come always physical. As I say this, I dedicate this project to my Mother who I lost 9 years back due to cancer and my sister in law who was a physical disable I lost her 4 years back. Hence, this idea has been in my mind to get this community out and work with them making them independent professionally and personally.
What do you want to achieve through LoveActually.me?
Simple, I want this community to be on the map. Talking is easy but getting them on the same table like the able is a tough task. Changes in the behaviour and mindset from both the sides of the coin are necessary and important. Hence, changing the behaviour approach towards life is my main motto as of now.
Who all are supporting this endeavour?
First, my community for supporting and believing in LoveActuallyme. My husband and my sisters Aditi, Unnati, my elder brother Satyan and my friends from day one and they have been my support system personally. My team Prashant, Pravash ( CTO) who are working with me since inception. My Influencer Jasmina Khanna, a Cerebral palsy patient herself has been working with us to make this a reality. Last, my well-wishers who are supporting us. “The world is nice when you have them around”
Who all do you want to reach out to?
I want more Mentors, influencers, NGOs and government Institution and Corporates globally to join hands and make this a concept more impactful and help us in bringing the change we are striving for.
What’s the bigger picture / what are you striving to achieve beyond LoveActually.me?
Bringing the Behavioural change, Making the community independent in terms of education, jobs and social.
How has been the journey so far in making this happen? Did you face any challenges?
Working against the waves it is not easy as it sounds. We did face various challenges being first the trust issues as many came spoke big words and did nothing for the community. Less knowledge and awareness of available solutions, as the only handful of the people, have this luxury. Lack of appreciation for the talented PWD’s. Mind-set of the parents who are closed towards making them more open in society. But, when you have challenged it’s fun to work.
What are your personal goals and aspirations?
Inclusivity with Equality! To break norms and notions that abled people have for PWD. #MeetTheRightFit through LoveActually.me.
Tell us about your most cherished achievements/milestones in life.
Prashant who has been with us as a team member is a PWD. He has been our first employee in our system. My biggest achievement was when his mother called to give us blessings and thanked us for believing in him. The blessings said it all. I always believe #WalktheTalk hence Prashant is now heading the Gujarat community and doing some amazing work. Confirmation of receiving the Karma veer chakra award #changemaker by UN and ICONGO with Rex which we will be getting in November in Delhi.
Why go down this road? Why not be like others (of your age)? What keeps you going?
One life makes it useful. Create a Legacy and make my mother proud. My community keeps me on my toes and I love doing something different from others. Hence, I am here will be here forever.
What advice would you give to others like you who want to drive change in India?
Never too late to start something awesome. Ask help when you need. A small change makes a big impact. So, start from small and kill for the big. Do not trust all, and don’t be vulnerable. Good things take time and good deeds are always appreciated.
Fighting with the odds, she’s focusing on bringing the much needed behavioural change in able and people with disability. Soon, she will be receiving the REX Karmaveer Award “The ChangeMaker” given by UN and Rex in November 2019. Fighting with the odds, she’s focusing on bringing the much needed behavioural change in able and people with disability.
We wish her luck for all her future endeavours.