A group of women uses hobby for a good cause
A plain looking room in suburban Chembur has attained a character of its own. A group of women assembles here regularly to pursue art. Now,they are using the same art for a noble cause.
The art class conducted by Rabindranath of Vedant Welfare Foundation situated at the Sri Subramaniam Samaj temple is second home to these women,mostly housewives and mothers,who come from all areas of Mumbai.
Their art is being sold and the proceeds will be used to help girls from the Mankhud remand home in Mumbai to follow their career goals. So far,Rs 1 lakh has been collected for empowering the girl child. We joined the class for love of art,but as we progressed and started doing well,we realised we could sell them and donate the money earned for benefiting the girl child, says Manjula Sudarashan,based in Chembur.
I couldnt see myself selling ware or insurance policies. I would rather use my skills to help somebody in chalking out a future, she says. It is not just the home we can run nicely. We can also help somebody else run their lives, she adds.
In this room,there are numerous small and big paintings of gods and goddesses,portraits of men and women,abstract art in reds,greens,blues,blacks,and colour pencil sketches stacked against the white walls and the floor.
Why do we belittle the talent of housewives? It is not easy running a home, Manjula says. We may not be professional artists but the freshness of our work has given a new meaning to our otherwise ordinary lives, says Manjula,who now has the ambition of holding a solo exhibition.
For most of them,the hobby was aimed at giving a break from daily household chores and setting apart some time for themselves,says 42-year-old Ranjani Srikant,a mother of two.
I am bringing up two kids and looking after my home but somewhere in the process,you lose yourself, says Ranjani. The art class helped me calm down and find myself all over again, she says. Earlier,I was happy I am doing something I like,but this has given me confidence to pursue not only art but also my first love,the software field, she says.
For 67-year-old Kalyani Sreenivasan,the art class has finally let her realise her childhood dream of becoming an artist.
After my husband died in 2000,it became difficult to manage his business and look after my third daughter,a heart patient who is a slow learner, says Kalyani. Art,she says,gave her inner peace and the strength to cope with hardships. The mother of three girls has a new mission,to help the girl child.
For 55-year-old Kaveri Hariharan,this is the best use of her time,there is just rona-dhona in all these TV serials. It is fun to come here,share ideas,discuss and try new styles of drawing, says Kaveri,who specialises in painting gods and goddesses.
Charulata Kadam,at 56,has finally been able to do what was her true calling,she says.
My father was an artist,but somehow I couldnt pursue the same profession, says Charulata.
Today I truly feel I have discovered myself. I will pursue it further, she adds
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