“We have our parents to look after us but the villagers don’t have even basic facilities, this is a small way in which we can try to make their lives better,” said 14-year-old Husein Motiwala, who along with his friends and teacher is planning to adopt Gharthal village in Shirpur district of Nashik. Motiwala, who has a keen interest in doodling and experimenting with acrylic colours, has been busy creating paintings that can be sold at an art exhibition to raise funds for the cause for the past five months.
Spurred by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’, Motiwala’s art teacher, S Ravindranath, decided to instil the thought of charity in young minds. Under the scheme, Modi had said the country’s face would be changed if 800 MPs decide to adopt three villages each by 2019. “We have been conducting health camps in the villages across Maharashtra but noticed that this particular village does not have toilets, not even a proper school and hospital. If political leaders and sportspersons can adopt a village, then common people can also work towards enriching people’s lives. We therefore decided to raise funds for the cause through a creative medium like art,” said Ravindranath, who has been training and conducting art exhibitions along with senior citizens and homemakers since 2007.
Ravindranath teaches art at an ICSE school in South Mumbai. The children involved in the project are from his school and one from a Chembur school.
One of his students, Kalyani Srinivasan (74) has till date sold more than 50 paintings, the funds for which have been used for the education of underprivileged girls. “Although I have an interest in art, I am doing this to empower young girls with additional skills that will also help them get a job and lead a confident, secure life,” said Srinivasan, whose latest painting was sold for Rs 80,000.
Ravindranath has created a small group of four women and three children, who he encourages to come up with new ideas. “I keep looking for ideas when I am walking back home from school. If something strikes me I look for similar ideas online,” said Aman Hirani
(12), also Ravindranath’s student.
Ravindranth plans to exhibit the paintings at the Cymroza Art Gallery in Breach Candy soon. “The last three times we held an exhibition there, we were able to raise more than Rs 5 lakh. This time we are aiming at more than Rs 15 lakh for the 1,500 people in Gharthal. I am sure people will encourage us,” said Ravindranath.
Another of his students, Shanti Satyan, said, “Although I have been painting all my life, I have only distributed my works to my friends and family. With this initiative, I have taken interest in creating more pieces and am also happy that they will be used for a noble cause.”
- See more at: Indian Express