SINGAPORE – Ms Katy Lee, 71, cannot see with her right eye and has tunnel vision in her left, but that hasn’t deterred her from creating a design for this year’s National Day pack.
Her work, done with Mrs. Neena Umni Krishna Marar, 61, also visually impaired, shows a tree with heart-shaped leaves and bright flowers.
It is one of 22 models of disabled people chosen to adorn the packs this year. Goodie bags will be distributed to those attending the National Day Parade (NPD) and NDP Previews.
Ms Lee, who underwent surgery in 1996 to remove a tumor from an optic nerve, said on Sunday July 17 that the tree represents strength and unity and that its branches are progressing and growing.
“In line with this year’s theme (‘Stronger Together, Majulah!’), the flowers represent the people of Singapore and our spirit of caring for each other that has carried Singapore through the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. she adds.
Ms Lee, who has taught art at the Singapore Association of the Visually Impaired for 25 years, said she was over the moon when told her work had been shortlisted.
“I’m so happy, so thrilled to be able to make such a meaningful contribution,” she said.
Speaking to the media on Sunday at the Istana Open House to celebrate the National Day, Speaker Halimah Yacob said NDP kits showcase the talents of people with disabilities.
She added: “Many of them told me that they were really happy to have this chance to present their work.
“That’s what we need to do, consciously create opportunities for people with disabilities so people don’t just see their disabilities but the potential they have.”
Andri Farrell Azhar, 13, has autism.
Its design features Singapore’s icons, such as the Merlion, Housing Board apartments and the national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim.
Said Andri: “This NDP, I’m so excited to see the soldiers, the tanks and my favorites – the helicopters. I wish every Singaporean to be strong, healthy and happy like me.”
The 22 artworks and the stories behind them have been compiled into a book that can be downloaded from the NPD website.