Though city-based fine arts student Palak Mahavir Patni and her friends have participated in various artistic projects in the past, a recent project in which they participated satisfied them the most as artistes. The project was to give an artistic makeover to Utkarsha, a night creche in Budhwar Peth meant for children of victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
“A few months ago, we were approached by a member of the volunteer group LetsRise, who is also my friend. Since she knew I am a student of Fine Arts, she asked me if I would be interested in artistically renovating Utkarsha and rope in a few of my artist friends too. When I shared the thought with my friends, they were too excited, given that it was for a social cause. Since all of us had not done anything like this before, we all participated enthusiastically in it,” said Patni, a student of Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Fine Arts. Other than Patni, the students who participated in the initiative included Manthana Tanpure, Shreya Shinde, Vinayak Uttekar, Akshay Singh, Aniket Chavan and Prajakta Patil.
Describing how the team went about renovating the crèche, Patni said she and her artiste friends first scraped out the whole paint of the crèche before painting in with various colourful and creative graphics. “Since the kids are small, the graphics included various domestic and wild animals alongwith alphabets A to Z. On one wall we also made the galaxy, while on another wall we painted a height meter with giraffe. Then there’s a caterpillar painted with numbers 1 to 10 written around it. We also made a rainbow and described vibgyor. On two pillars, we painted a train that carries photos of children who come to the creche,” shared Patni.
The crèche was established by Chaitanya Mahila Mandal about five years ago in order to protect children of of the victims from traumatic and undesirable night life and give them a chance to grow normally and keep them away from ill habits like drugs, smoking and others. “The group LetsRise partnered with Chaitanya Mahila Mandal in looking after the needs of the children and also has been trying to fund raise to build Bhavishya, which will be a 24X7 home for the children, to help bring them to the mainstream,” shared Sourav Chatterjee, one of the members of LetsRise.