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Painting Smiles—Ek Sangharsh’s Drawing Competition

The Manipal chapter of Ek Sangharsh, a Delhi based NGO, conducted a drawing competition for the students of the nearby Academy Higher Primary School. It was an attempt to bond with the little ones and at the same time, give back to the local community.

Ten volunteers headed to the school on the morning of Tuesday, 3rd April 2018. They were greeted with big smiles by the staff there. The teachers seemed eager to hand over the responsibility of keeping the students occupied to someone else for a while. Second and third graders were assembled in one classroom, while the students of class four settled into another. Language proved to be a slight barrier as very few of the volunteers spoke Kannada. Nevertheless, they were able to communicate necessary instructions to the students.

Photograph by Pratik Anand

The initial plan was to assign interesting topics that the students would bring to life on paper. However, seeing the confusion on the students’ faces, it was decided that the students could draw whatever they wished to. Stationery, colour pencils, and drawing sheets were distributed to each of them and they were given an hour to complete their drawings. Imagination ran wild as the children put their pencils to paper. The entire affair reminded one of simpler childhood days—when art was not only a form of expression but also a favourite pastime. The volunteers patiently assisted the students, answered any queries they had, and constantly encouraged them. The silently observing first graders seemed upset that they were not included in this activity. However, a surprise lay in store for them as they were treated to a dance workshop along with the students of class five the following day.

Photograph by Sachin Vianney

The volunteers urged the students to complete their drawings as their one hour came to an end. They also distributed pastries, which the children were delighted to receive. Following a group photograph, the drawings were collected, and the three best artists were given small prizes. It was an enjoyable morning for the students as this drawing competition offered them a break from the monotony of school lessons. The volunteers, too, left with happy faces as they were able to steal away a few moments of simple joy in the midst of these stressful weeks.  Ek Sangharsh is certainly doing its part in bringing about a small, albeit significant difference, in the lives of these young children.

Featured Image by Sachin Vianney

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