Outreach Programmeshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/outreach-programmes/

Outreach Programmes

Some good things are for free,say these experts who are sharing their skills,from art to architecture,with people for free.

Some good things are for free,say these experts who are sharing their skills,from art to architecture,with people for free.

Art,ecology,people and life — Siddhartha Wig’s architecture is guided by these elements rather than brick and mortar. Known for his green buildings,sustainable architecture and extensive use of local materials,Wig has now opened a new chapter in his profession. The city-based architect has,for a few years,felt that his earlier dream of working for the people has become diluted,with work pressures,time constraints and deadlines keeping him busy. “In the office environment,it’s difficult to entertain people who can’t pay. So,I decided to step out of the office routine and reach out to people who can’t hire an architect,or people who think that they can build without one for reasons of affordability,” says Wig. He devotes a couple of days every month to this,and the service is free.

At Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15,on the second and fourth Saturday of every month,anyone can walk in and take Wig’s advice on any aspect of architecture. In the last month,he has reached out to a diverse group of people,helping them design spaces and furniture,source better materials and find technical solutions regarding sustainability and renewable energy among others. “It’s gratifying to help people live in comfort and in harmony with nature,without any material interests,” he says.

Like Wig,many experts in the city are moving out of their offices to connect with a new audience. They are doing so without financial considerations and,in the process,striving to create a free exchange of ideas,talents,and thoughts in creative zones. Among them is theatre actor,director and researcher Chandrashekhar. He plans to create a platform for people who want to act,write scripts and tell stories. People can get together every weekend and improvise,with Chandrashekhar taking them through the nuances of theatre. “Open to various age groups,this is not a formal class where you have to prove yourself. The end result is of no consequence. It’s envisioned as a space for different levels of participation,with facilities to paint,talk,write and develop a love for the arts,” says Chandrashekhar,who will conduct the sessions at various venues in the city.


Be it at Leisure Valley,Sukhna Lake,Bougainvillaea Garden or a community centre,Kavaljeet Kaur likes to infuse a breath of fresh air into her yoga classes every weekend. Her trial classes,conducted for free,are meant to initiate people into yoga. Those who enjoy the experience can return every weekend for a nominal fee. “The idea is to have fun,synchronise your breath and body,get a stress-free hour,calm yourself and say yes to something new,” says Kaur.

Also involving a wider audience is the Indian National Theatre group. Comprising people from the worlds of art,music and theatre,the group promotes Indian classical music. It not only organises concerts,dance recitals and lectures but also holds music appreciation classes to develop people’s interest in vocals and instrumentals. “The five-day appreciation course,for Rs 200,is a success as it helps us to create new audience and fan the zeal for music,” says Vinita Gupta,a musician and part of the organization. It’s an effort they now hope to extend to various schools in the city to spread the music.