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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

Support Independents’ Day

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

In celebration of Independents' Day we have a very special offer - Save £20 on our best selling Contemporary Nest of Tables usually £129 now only £109 with this promotion code YDB11*.

We are helping to fly the flag for local retailers and encouraging diversity on the high street by supporting Independents’ Day. 

On 4th July 2013 across the country, we are encouraging everyone to buy at least one item from your local, independent shop to celebrate Independents’ Day 2013.

This is a national campaign, organised by the National Skills Academy for Retail, who are champions of local retailers who make the UK’s villages, towns and cities so special and individual.

With over 160,000 independent retailers making up 92% of all retail businesses in the UK, their importance to local economies as well as their contribution to a location’s identity and community is unrivalled.

Jane Rexworthy, Head of the National Skills Academy for Retail said: “We are delighted to lead this campaign to celebrate diversity in retail. Independents’ Day aims to highlight the huge range of skills successful independent retailers need to make our towns and cities such interesting and varied places to visit and shop.

We all know that our local, independent retailers are beginning to disappear from our high street, in 2012 it is estimated that 7,300 shops closed last year leaving some high streets with more empty units that filled. Supporting out high street and independent shops is vital if we want to ensure that we still have a high street in years to come. So why not support your local shops this 4th July (and beyond) by buying at least one item on Thursday from your favourite shop. 

To stay up to date with all the activities, you can follow the campaign on Twitter @Retail_IndieDay, or on the news section of

*This offer is only valid until Friday 5th July 2013, so be quick!  This offer is not valid with any other offer or promotion. Standard P&P charge to mainland UK address is £4.95, additional charges may apply for highlands and Islands. Please allow up to 14 days for delivery. £20 off full retail price of C2781 only. 


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Make your perfect entrance

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

First impressions count so make sure your hallway always looks its best. We have a great section of furniture and accessories which will give your hallway the help it needs to transform from a cluttered corridor into the perfect, clutter free welcome.

Console Tables are the perfect solution for a cluttered hallway. All of our consoles are designed to be narrow enough so as not to take up too much room in your hallway but offer the most amount of storage capability. Our Mallani Petite Console is perfect for small hallways and includes a useful slatted shelf for shoes and two drawers for all the essentials like keys and pens. If you need something a little larger than the Mallani Large Console Table maybe just what you are looking for, the same width as the petite version but includes an extra drawer and an extra slatted shelf which are perfect for shoes, or why not ass some pretty baskets so you can store all kids outdoor paraphernalia.

Our range of console tables also includes the Hathi Console Table with hand carved elephant detail, the Gypsy Console Table which has an aqua-washed finished, the Mallani Contemporary Console Table with gently curved legs and the Mallani Hall Stand which is the smallest of our console tables.

A storage seat is the perfect solution if shoes are your clutter conundrum. They offer lots of roomy storage for all the families shoes and a useful to seat to so you can tie your laces. We have storage seats in lots of different styles including the original Mallani Storage Seat which is open fronted,  the new Mallani Enclosed Storage Seat which includes double doors to hide away your clutter and the Hathi Storage Seat which has double doors decorated with hand carved elephants. We even have a half sized, Mallani Single Storage Seat version, designed specifically for smaller hallways.

Mirrors are the perfect accessory for the hallway. They create the feeling of more space and light which can be essential for small, dark and narrow hallways. We have a great selection of mirrors that coordinate with our other furniture such as console tables and storage seats. Our Mallani Hallway Mirror can be hung either vertically or horizontally and makes a roomy addition to your hallway.

A runner or rug is the perfect addition to your home as it both adds colour and protects your flooring. We have a great selection of Kilim runners which are very hardwearing and will bring a touch of the East to your home. The Ooty Stripe Wool Kilim rug is one of our best selling Kilims thanks to its lovely welcoming colours and friendly stripe pattern. If you are looking for something a little more traditional then the Mandore Wool Kilim Rug is perfect, it has soft warm colours and is made using traditional techniques. If you are looking for something a little more natural but want something really hard wearing then the Border Jute Rug may be perfect. Made from tough Jute it is perfect for high traffic areas such as hallways.

We have a designed our furniture to fit into any size home. We also have a great selection of accessories to make sure your hallway gives a great first impression.

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Find your perfect TV Unit

As TVs are getting bigger it often means that your old TV unit isn’t wide enough to fit your new super widescreen television. To help we have come up with a list of TV units to fit your widescreen TVs. The measurement that widescreen TVs are sold in e.g. 42”, is not the width of the TV but the length diagonally of the screen. This does not include the surround either, so this needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about sizes. The basic ratio for widescreen TVs is 16:9 but to help you work it out we have worked out some approximate sizes for you. Please note though this does not include the TV surround so this will need to be added onto any measurements you take.

Size of TV (inches)
Width (cm)
Height (cm)

Please note that this is only an estimate and we would urge you to get accurate measurements of your TV before ordering your new TV unit.

Our Mallani Widescreen TV Cabinet and the Hathi Wide Screen TV Console has been specifically designed to accommodate the widest screen TVs. At 140cm wide it could easily accommodate a 50” screen or even bigger if you wanted! Our Mallani TV Console and Mallani Store and Drawer Sideboard are also super wide at 130cm and 140cm meaning they can easily take the widest TVs but won’t dominate your room.

If your TV is positioned in the corner of your room then one of our corner TV units may fit the bill. The Mallani Easy View Corner TV Unit is the widest at 100cm so can easily accommodate a 42” TV. If you have something a little smaller, then the Mallani Corner TV Unit, Chandra Corner TV Unit and Hathi Corner TV Unit are all 90cm wide making them perfect for any 40” Widescreen TV.

The Mallani Tall TV Unit is a good 110cm wide making it both practical for storage and it can hold a 42” TV easily.  The same can be said for the Chandra TV Unit at 100cm which also has a roomy cupboard. The Hathi TV Unit is also 100cm wide but also comes to compete with four hand carved elephants to add a touch of the east to your home.

Our storage coffee tables also make great TV units. With a width of 110cm, they are wide enough to easily accommodate a 42” screen and they also have useful shelves and drawers perfect for DVDs and games. Our Mallani, Khimsar and Orissa Storage Coffee Tables make great alternative TV units.

Whatever the size of your TV is we have a great range of TV units to suit. As they are all hardwood they can easily take the weight of large televisions and will make you technology look effortlessly at home.

Get Recycling

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

 This year recycle week is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is going to be bigger and better than ever. Running from 17th – 23rd June this year’s theme is ‘Recycle at home and away’. It has never been easier to recycle when you’re out and about as most venues and high streets have recycling bins available.

The recyclable materials that are being focused on during this recycle week are plastics, food waste, packaging, metals and textiles. Clothing and textiles are currently being recycled enough and it is estimated that £140millions worth of used textiles and up in landfill every year. Over the past decade, the UK has recycled an astonishing 50 billion plastic drinks bottles – enough to stretch to the moon and back more than 10 times over!

As a nation we are now recycling more than ever as councils are increasing the amount they collect from our doorsteps. Now around 50% of plastic bottles now being recycled which is great news, but that means that 50% of plastic bottles are still going into landfill. The aim of recycle week is to encourage us all to go that step further and recycle everything we can. Over the last 10 years we have recycle £339 billion worth of plastic.

Metal drinks can are 100% recyclable and a single metal drinks can could be recycled eight times in the space of a year, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans. Recycled plastic bottles can be turned into lots of different things. For example 25 plastic bottles is all it takes to make one fleece jacket.

To find out what you can recycle in your local area, what happens to your recycling and for more information on what the different recycling symbols mean take a look at the Recycle Now website which if full or helpful information.

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Get on your bike!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Last year nearly half a million people got on their bikes in support of Bike Week and they want to make it even bigger this year! Bike Week will run from 15th – 23rd June and aims to encourage more people to dig out their bike, get back on their saddle and fall in love with cycling  all over again.

After our cycling success at the Olympics, getting on your bike has never been so popular. There are more and more clubs and groups that come together to go for a cycle ride, it is a great way to meet new people, get fit and have fun! Cycling not only is great fun but it is also a cheap and healthy method of transport as well as an excellent way to stay fit and healthy.

If you’re feeling a little timid when it comes to getting on your bike, Bike Week perfect for you, with Dr Bike and safe to ride workshops running across the country, you can get help to make sure your bike is safe and ready to hit the road and there are lots of cycling events running throughout the week. Why not encourage your employer and your fellow colleagues to run a bike to work events, or how about visiting a cycling club on their open day?

So whether you are a keen cyclist look for a new challenge or a new cyclist looking for a relaxing bike ride for you and your family. Bike Week is the perfect week to get back in the saddle and enjoy a trip round your local  area. Bike Week is Britain’s biggest mass participation cycling event and there are loads of events taking place across the whole country. So what are you waiting for – get on your bike!

To find out what Bike Week events are being run near you,  visit their website by clicking here

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Indiability – how much do you know?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Many of our regular readers will know all about our partnership with SKSN School. Our beautiful Sari patchwork cushions are designed and made exclusively for Myakka as part of a vocational training scheme for those who have completed their education at SKSN school. But what do you know about Indiability?

We have worked closely with, & sponsor, SKSN and the Indiability Foundation since 2008 and our Georgie is on the Foundation Board. To find out more about Indiability and what they do read this special blog all about the work they do. To read the original article and to find out more about Indiabilty take a look at their website by clicking here

India's understanding of a disabled-friendly environment seems to begin and end with wheelchairs ramps. And the attitude of most governments and private players regressive enough to embarrass us all. But there are some large-hearted individuals who are striving to make sure people with special needs can now go to school, have access to public toilets and even take road trips. This then is a story, not of gloom, but one of conquering the odds

Neni Devi takes a deep breath as we ask her about her childhood in Satur, a nondescript village in Rajashthan. “I thought I was the only vikalanga (disabled) in the world. My brother and mother had to drop me to the government school where I studied. My memories are filled with disappointments - of classmates walking away to play leaving me alone in the classroom, holding my urge to use the toilet and waiting for someone to lift me if I fell,” says 26-year-old Devi, who came to Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan (SKSN), a boarding school (see box) for differently-abled children in Manaklao, on the outskirts of Jodhpur, nine years ago. Today she is a hostel warden at SKSN, a proud worker and not embarrassed about her condition any more.

As she begins work for the day, which involves looking after 100 girls, Devi remembers the first day she walked into SKSN as a student. “My life changed. I met people whose physical condition was worse than mine, and who understood my pain. In the village, I was helped out of pity. But at the boarding school, they never came to our help when we fell or needed assistance of any kind. They encouraged us to help ourselves. I found my confidence here,” says Devi, who has studied geography, social studies and political science.

Twenty-year-old Janak Singh, too, saw a tough life in his village in Rajasthan. For him, the ignorance of friends and the poor standard of sanitation didn’t hurt as much as watching other children play cricket. “I was wheelchair-bound, but how did that take away my right to play? No one included me in their games,” says Singh, who passed Class XII this year, and is now a full-time employee at the charity organisation Indiability Foundation’s IMAGE programme, which has been using sport as a social vaccine to bridge the gap between the disabled and able-bodied communities in rural areas since 2005. Like Devi and Singh, there are many others who are paving their own way on many fronts in a country that has failed to provide a differently-abled environment, even though the United Nations says it is mandatory that all roads, transport facilities and public spaces be accessible to the physically challenged.

Fighting for basic rights
Not surprisingly, the Indian government has done precious little to implement this UN mandate of 2009. Says Sneh Gupta, an activist with SKSN, “When you compare the amenities for disabled people in India and the West, there is a vast difference.” So a year ago, Gupta founded the Indiability Foundation, which works to change our attitude towards people with physical disabilities and empower them to live independent lives. By the end of 2013, she hopes to kick-start a project for 1,000 public toilets in a thousand villages. “While we were working to improve the sanitation system at SKSN, we never realised what problems children and women face in villages. Open loos in the middle of a field are usually the only choice for people in much of rural India. These areas are at least a kilometre away from the main village. “Imagine someone with bilateral paralysis doing that every day,” she says. Gupta’s project is currently trying to find the best design for a water-free waste solution.

Beyond barriers
While foundations such as Gupta’s are working to improve infrastructure for the differently-abled, some others are trying to help in various other ways. In 2011, between September 28 and December 20, Neenu Kewlani, Arvind Prabhoo, Nishant Khade and Sunita Sancheti - four friends who met at a centre for the rehabilitation of differently-abled people - travelled across 28 states in India, covered a journey of 19,000 kilometres, in 84 days. Their aim was to highlight the lack of infrastructure for differently-abled people in India. They released a coffee table book called, Beyond Barriers: The Incredible India Tour that documents their journey. “We met at Dr Ketna Mehta’s Nina Foundation, a rehabilitation centre for people with spinal cord injuries,” says Kewlani, who moves around in a wheelchair and has been fighting the cause for disability for the past 13 years.

“As a child, public spaces were inaccessible and that had a huge impact on my life. I grew up in a flat on the fourth floor of a building in Mahim that had no elevator. I had to be carried up and down the stairs to go to school, and during all the surgeries I underwent. With age, it became more and more difficult,” says Kewlani, adding that in school, though the authorities were kind, the infrastructure was inaccessible. “The toilets were not disable-friendly, and I could not go to the laboratory, the library or the auditorium. My helper placed me on my bench in the morning and returned to pick me up in the evening. It broke my heart not to take part in activities and miss school trips,” she recalls.
Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Government of India’s flagship programme for achievement of Universalising of Elementary Education (UEE), every individual, able or disabled, has the right to education. So, argues Kewlani, it is mandatory for government schools to make their schools accessible for students with disabilities. "But most of the time all we have is a ramp. What about the toilets? The classrooms? The auditoriums?” says Kewlani.

Of course there is a rulebook. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has a manual on how to make a structure disable-friendly. It mentions that all ramps should have railings for people with crutches and senior citizens. The flooring should be non-slippery and there should be signages for the deaf and dumb to read and tactile markings as well. It is our right. We are educated professionals and the tax payers,” says Kewlani.

Self help
Last year, Ketna Mehta launched a daylong check-up camp in Mumbai, conducted by doctors. “We hosted 25 spinal cord injury (SCI) patients from all over the country for a complete check-up. Each patient was taken through a round of tests including pathology, sonography, spine evaluation, physio and occupational therapy. We even had a urologist examine their bladder and bowel conditions, a major concern for SCI patients,” says Mehta, who will conduct a similar camp on August 15 this year. The patients were recommended exercises and daily activities. “Some patients had no support in their home states, and had never used crutches to walk,” she recalls.  The efforts of people like Gupta, Mehta and Manaklao may be like droplets in an ocean, but it’s a start. And if their work inspires, embarrasses and finally galvanises many others to take a step in the same direction, their lion-hearted efforts would have achieved desired results.

A class apart
1991, Jodhpur: As family members stood outside the groom’s home, ready to go to the marriage venue, they spotted an old man dragging his body up the road. The groom’s father walked up to the man and asked him to go away. Dejected, the disabled man turned back and slowly disappeared round the corner. In the crowd, stood social worker Dr Narayan Singh Manaklao followed the old man. “I asked him why had he been shooed away. It turned out that the man was the groom’s uncle. Fearing that his condition would spoil the family’s name, his younger brother has asked him to go away,” narrates Manaklao, a Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee. It left Manaklao disturbed. “There was not much I could do for the old man, but I could change the destiny of children with physical disabilities,” says Manaklao, founded the Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan (SKSN), a hostel for disabled children. In the first year, 18 children were given boarding and lodging at the hostel. For studies, they were taken to a government school nearby. “But, the students were not treated well. Thus, I added a primary schooling facility in the hostel itself,” says Manaklao. Today, SKSN offers education till Class XII. And this year, it has also added commerce as an option as well.
In 2005, my friends Arvind and Nishant decided to go on an all-India road trip to highlight the rights of disabled people. During that time, I had fractured my knee and was confined to bed. To make myself useful, I asked Arvind whether he had any work I could take up.

That’s when he involved me in his trip and asked me to help him map the route. Though I had never worked with maps, Arvind offered to guide me, and I immersed myself in the country’s topography.
Once, I happened to tell my friend Neenu Kewlani about it over a cup of coffee and she suggested we join the tour. While charting out the journey, we decided to visit the capitals of all 28 states.
The most impressive stop was at Tejpur University in Assam. It is 80 per cent disabled-friendly, including the auditorium and the rooms in men’s hostels! We put up at government guesthouses at all our stops. Unfortunately none of them were disabled-friendly.

We visited the government offices in the capitals of every state - Gandhinagar in Gujarat and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh for instance. Before we set off, we had written to all the state governments but received no reply. So, we just barged into government offices and met ministers and bureaucrats with the help of local NGOs.

Our question to them was simple: When the central government has allocated funds for the disabled, why are they not being put to good use? Do you know that there are 17 universities in India that are accessible to disabled people, but the names have not been announced? How would one know?
The roads in Lucknow impressed us with their perfectly levelled pavements, ramps and railings in place.

In Veli Village, Trivandrum, we took a boat ride. The boats were not disabled-friendly, but we had a staff of 17 to help us. In Ladakh, we trekked to a height of 18,000 feet and touched the snow. It was a dream come true.  While we even dipped our feet in the sea at Pondicherry’s thanks to the ramp leading right till the water, we watched the sunrise in Kanyakumari.
But the most adventurous incident took place in Majuli, Assam. To cross the Brahmaputra, one must take a boat that also transports your car. We crossed the river with our Innova on board. Owing to the size of the boat, the Innova was parked perpendicular to the length of the boat. While alighting, our driver panicked, and our car could have fallen into the river. They pulled Neenu and me to safety. We travelled to show the world that just because one is whee-chair bound, it doesn’t mean one cannot travel and see beautiful places.

3 questions
Rajive Raturi

Director, Disability Rights Initiative of Human Rights Law Network (DRI-HRLN)

What is HRLN?
We are a group of lawyers and social activists that work out of 22 offices across the country to provide marginalised communities access to the justice system. Disability Rights is one of our initiatives started in 2003. According to the 1995 Act, disabled person have social and economic rights to employment, and right to education. We help people with disabilities gain knowledge about their rights and provide legal aid if there is a violation of their rights.

Has there been any progress for the disabled in India?
In the past three years, since the ratification of the UN Convention of rights of persons with disabilities, there has been much debate around the country on rights of persons with disabilities.  Grassroots DPOs, which are unregistered disabled persons organisations, have become alive in the country. Physically challenged people are coming together to help each other and spread awareness. They challenge discrimination at the spot itself and fight for entitlements of poor and rural disabled persons.

What initiatives is the Is the government taking?
India has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and is now obligated to bring all its laws and policies in harmony with the convention. The government initiated a law reform process in 2009 but is sitting with the draft of the revised disability law even today.

To read the original article and to find out more about Indiabilty take a look at their website by clicking here

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