This is the story of
  • Karishma
  • will
  • grit
  • passion
  • persistance
  • faith
  • triumph
  • commitment
  • compassion
  • resolve
  • realization

Welcome to Karishma Kannan’s website!

This is about a ‘differently abled’ girl, born with a condition called Down’s syndrome*. We have created this website for parents and families, for professionals concerned with the care and education of special needs people, individuals with learning difficulties and also for appreciators of the Arts. We hope that by sharing Karishma’s successes and challenges we can help others become aware of the lives and aspirations of people born with intellectual challenges, to know and accept them as individuals having their own potentials and believe in their exceptionalities. We trust this will help one and all, gain encouragement and perspective in whatever their own personal struggles might be and inspire to move on in life.

When the world says “give up”, Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” And then I realize, Yes, I can!
Karishma’s message : ‘I can, you can, we all can.

Karishma enriches our lives everyday, giving us purpose and meaning to our very existence. She teaches us so many life lessons, most of all that the power of unconditional love breaks through all barriers and leads to higher level of fulfillment.

Image Alternative text

Kannan and Kalpana - Karishma's parents

I have learnt more from Karishma than I could ever teach her. I leave every lesson with a profound sense of joy and wonder.

Image Alternative text

Cyndi Beaumont, Karishma’s art teacher

About Karishma

Karishma – born in 1991 in India, underwent early intervention at Mathru Mandir, Chennai and developed early learning skills at Srishti Special Academy, Bangalore. She later trained in pre-vocation and Creative Movement Therapy at RASA, Chennai. She performed number of dance drama, staged programs and felicitated celebrities. In 2008, Karishma relocated to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with her family where she learnt to paint and developed the skill. After returning from Vietnam in 2015, Karishma lived in Mumbai for 2 years during which she participated in Shaimak Dawar’s dance school and performed on stage. She also taught yoga for special children. She has now relocated to Bangalore with her family and has set up her own art studio and a recreation centre for young adults with down syndrome called, Studio 21 UP.

Karishma’s journey as the contributing member of the society began in 2011 with her first solo painting exhibition titled – ‘I Can, You Can, We Can’. Since then she has had 3 solo exhibitions and one auction and has donated over 125 paintings ! Her exhibitions and auctions has raised over 70,000 USD for charities supporting infant heart surgeries and special education in Vietnam and India.

Karishma’ s work has been recognised and appreciated internationally. Besides extensively covered by print and TV media in Vietnam, her early years talent were widely published in Indian media. Her yoga sessions for young children was featured in the Niki magazine, Japan. In the words of The Consulate General of India in Vietnam - “I must say she is a great diplomat and a great representative for India in Vietnam”. Karishma is also the recipient of the ‘World Downs Syndrome International Award’ 2014 and again in 2018 she received the self-advocacy award from India International Down syndrome Federation. She is also part of an NGO – Not Just Art. Karishma continues to inspire one and all…

Karishma’ s work of art is a triumph in the face of overwhelming odds. Her every stroke of brush in creating these paintings is a great achievement and it means so much as it is hard won, for Karishma is a intellectually challenged girl born with a condition called downs syndrome.

What is Down's Syndrome?*

Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender and socioeconomic lines, and affecting approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation world wide. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues.

* This is a generic understanding and should not be taken as a professional explanation