Art isn’t always used to express creativity; often, it acts as facilitator to benefit a cause. This is exactly what the Cancer Patients Aid Association’s art exhibition, Colours of Life — Expressions of Life, has been doing for eight years.
The exhibition will witness the culmination of the works of 125 renowned Indian artists including Akbar Padamsee, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Prafulla Dahanukar, Jogen Choudhury and Samir Mondal, who have joined hands to raise funds for cancer patients.
“We are an NGO and we need to raise funds to support our projects and our activities. This exhibition is based on a concept of raising funds by asking artists to give us their works and some portion of their proceeds to us, which we can use for the benefit of cancer patients,” says Piali Syam, curator of the exhibition and director — Special Projects (CPAA)
This year, the collection, which has covered a range of genres including folk, abstract, figurative and landscapes, is expected to showcase a large spectrum of works, styles, media and price ranges.
Syam, who has been in the organising committee of this exhibition, revealed that in the early stages, it was tough to convince artists to participate: “Initially, it was very difficult because not many knew about us. It involved plenty of contact searching as well as convincing the artists. But I think over the years, things have changed.”
Artists, too, are glad to be part of such an event. Eminent artist Samir Mondal, who has been taking part in this initiative since the first year, supports it wholeheartedly, “It’s always meaningful to work for a good cause. Over the years, I have received a lot from society, and now I want to give back, in my own capacity. I have been observing CPAA for years together; I have full faith in their work, and support their fight against cancer.”
Author : Soma Das
In the past year, five visually impaired budding photographers tagged with sighted volunteers from Child Relief and You (CRY) to visit government and special schools across the city and click images of the students. Guided by Partho Bhowmick from the Beyond Sight Foundation, their aim was to document the challenges faced by disabled children in accessing their Right To Education (RTE).
Nearly 50 photographs by five visually impaired photographers are now on display at Piramal Art Gallery as the concluding part of the Click Rights exhibition (the first part was held in December 2011). On June 8, a debate and discussion was also held on the ways to make schools more inclusive. It was attended by disability rights activists and parents of the children who were photographed.
Over the weekend, visitors to the gallery will also be able to attend workshops to sensitise them to the plight of the differently-abled in daily life through activities such as tying shoe laces with one hand. The photo essay highlights two sets of kids — those who attend special schools, have access to facilities and have therefore been “mainstreamed” as well as children with disabilities who study in government schools, where the infrastructure doesn’t support their inclusion.
“Differently-abled people cannot be treated as an after-thought. Such children must be given the opportunity to engage with the world as equals. This exhibition illustrates how they are ignored,” shares Kreeanne Rabadi, Regional Director, CRY.
Priya Zutshi, Senior Manager, CRY adds, “The exhibition explores what the RTE means for visually and physically impaired children. Hopefully, the visual medium will help people easily identify with their plight.”
The event emphasises on the need to train the teachers to handle students with disabilities, the changes that need to be made in the curriculum, the need for specific teaching aids for such students and the modification of basic infrastructure (like installing ramps) in schools for a barrier-free environment.