In a world of discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, caste, community, creed, and even sexual orientation, advocating inclusivity has become the need of the hour.
Fulfilling this need is India’s Ace Fashion and Fitness photographer Nikos Narkisos through his fitness calendar Body Sculpt which in 2023, is in its 6th edition. The aim of producing this calendar is just what the world needs – inclusivity.
Speaking to Newskarntaka.com Nikos said, post covid it has become very important that we talk about our physical and mental health, and make fitness accessible to everyone without any discrimination.
In this year’s calendar, the Cover Boys are Sumit Tanwar and Avidh Morajkar. Sumit is a 34-year-old businessman and fitness model from Hissar in Haryana. He has participated in eminent fitness competitions including Sheru Classic. He is into the business of Hand-Crafted Shoes made by the Jacobs, a dying art form. Nikos himself has conducted a leather craft workshop with Jacobs in past.
Avidh on the other hand is a Sports officer at the University of Goa. The cover page symbolizes inclusivity of colour, region, profession, and age. This calendar proves that to be fit, age is no bar. Sumit and Avidh also break the stereotype of men in fitness are not well educated.
The calendar has been shot in exotic locations across India, including Kashmir, Kerala, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. The models include men and women from India and Africa. They are fitness enthusiasts who have achieved in various fields from the police to sports, cinema to beauty pageants.
This year’s Calendar features two Kashmiri models, Former Muscle-Mania India Champion Umer Rashid, and Former Mr Srinagar Umer Hayat. Both run their own gyms and participate internationally in fitness competitions. They were captured on camera in the exotic locations of Harwan and Sonamarg respectively.
Then we have Uttarakhand’s Neeraj Mehra who is a professional trainer. The calendar also features Vaibhav Garg from Delhi and Dikshant Mehta from Punjab both of whom are actors and singers. Dikshant is also a Youtuber. Vaibhav at 21 is the youngest model to feature in the calendar.
Badminton Player and Coach Manas Sethi from Delhi is also a part of Body Sculpt 23. He runs his own Badminton Academy.
Sajaul Alam a popular Social Media Influencer originally from Jaipur and now based out of Mumbai features in the calendar too. Sajaul has been featured in Saas, Bahu Aur Saazish etc. He is famous for his Fashion and Fitness work.
Deepak Jha is a young model and actor of Maithili origins in Bihar, currently living in Mumbai. He has participated in and won fitness competitions across India. He is the first-ever Maithili model to feature in the calendar. The Maithili are a small community rarely represented in any prominent forum, Nikos himself belongs to this community. He says it took him 6 years to find a model from his community for the calendar.
Rahul Naik who works for the Goa Police also features in the calendar breaking a big taboo by modelling for the calendar.
After Kashmir and Goa, Kerala is the third state with two model features in the calendar. The first is a former national-level Javeliner and current cricketer Vaibhav Warrier from Thrissur; he was educated in Bangalore and has been modelling as well. He hopes to play in the Ranji Trophy Tournament and the Indian Premier League.
Actor Ajay Paul is the other model from Kerala, he is on the cusp of making his debut in Malayalam Cinema. He won the NBBUI Mister Asia 2019 and Model Physique Class of Mr Asia 2019.
Shabaz Khan from Bangalore also features in the calendar; he recently quit his corporate job to be a full-time fitness enthusiast and trainer. He is a certified trainer, training celebrities from the Kannada Film industry.
Kushal Gurung from Siliguri a former Muscle-Mania Champion also features in Body Sculpt 23. He is a famous face in Television Commercials and has appeared in many films as a body double for many famous actors. He is a trained Martial Art exponent
And there is a surprise too – two females appear on the calendar. One is the former Miss Democratic Republic of Congo and Make-Up artist Hasse Tukuzu who was educated in Bangalore and currently lives in Kinshasa. The other is South Africa’s illustrious Fitness Model Genevieve Mel Woolf. She is based out of Durban and has been trained under her Indian Coach Niketan. She has participated in many international competitions.
Nikos says, “in keeping with the need of the hour and its purpose, the Calendar demonstrates inclusivity at all levels from community to colour from gender to profession.”
Signing off, Nikos says that people on the calendar, are chosen to break pre-defined norms of beauty and fitness. “Fair is as beautiful as dark, tall is as handsome as short, and age has nothing to do with being fit; it is all about our perceptions. As a society, we should be fluid and integrate changes with open arms. Inclusivity is not a want but a need that will make the world a better place.”