Sunday, July 17, 2011

Workshop at Shishu Mandir -1

 Shishu Mandir is a children’s project consisting of a home and a school for children of under- privileged backgrounds. When they wanted to come out with a book about the institution, I took a series of workshops out of which the children’s drawings could be used as illustrations for the book. Since this project involves ‘illustration’, I made an exception to my rule of ‘never teach children’. I needn’t have worried as they were far easier to deal with than the stuffy overbearing aunties who I once made the mistake of teaching long ago. 

One visit to Shishu Mandir and I was bowled over by the place. The buildings were clean, airy and beautiful. All the rooms were full of light and filled with a friendly ambience. The teachers smiled readily and seemed a very dedicated lot. Everything here was so different from the excessively eulogized, stodgy, colonial, pressure filled, rule driven atmosphere of a school in which I once studied centuries ago.  

The children here smiled easily at me and some of them came up to me confidently and asked me my name. Later at the workshop they were fun, and were eager to experiment and try out things. All the children were neat, clean, well dressed and well mannered. They all spoke perfect English. They seemed relaxed and happy. 

It is very very hard to imagine that these children with sparkling eyes and bright faces have known and endured hardships that you or I cannot even fathom.

Apparently this is the first time they got to be ‘creative’ and 'original' and draw subjects other than English winter scenes, Walt Disney cartoons, copied greeting cards and that kind of stuff.

One of the biggest surprises was at the end of the workshop. Every child made it his or her responsibility to clear up her place, scrub her table clean and help the others tidy up the room before leaving.

Some of these pictures here are the results of the first workshop. 

I can't wait to see what the results of the next workshop will bring about!


Akhila H said...

Keep up the good work! May your tribe increase!

Rima said...

Before I read the last line I was going to say you should go back there Priya... :)

pRiyA said...

Thank you Rima (-:

Akhila, I think it is the visionaries who run Shishu Mandir who deserve to be applauded. We need more like them.


What wonderful work, an absolute joy. The kids are so deserving considering the hardships and raw deals they've endured,you describe them as such sensible, collected and well adjusted individuals - I guess Shishu Mandir has to be congratulated for that. Must feel wonderful to share the liberating effects of art with the kids

Perfect Witch said...

No words. Just a smile and a hug. The perfect post for a Monday morning.

ArtPropelled said...

I can feel a tugging at my heart strings..... So glad you are going back. Loving that perfect circle in the first photo!

pRiyA said...

Thank you Emby. I enjoyed myself and I think the kids did too. Finally that is what Art should be about.

Thank you Perfect Witch (( hug ))

Yes Robyn, I love that first photo and the confidence with which that child is drawing the circle. I am glad I am going back.

Aarthi said...

inspiring post!

Karine said...

Wonderful photos, art and everything! Thanks for sharing it with us, Priya. I especially love those faces in the last photo.

mahendra singh said...

what energy in these drawings! these kids are cool

good job!

pRiyA said...

Yes! They are amazing.