From canvas to chic cause

Apr 30, 2012, 06:23 IST | Ruchika Kher

Paintings by four kids from city-based NGO, Aseema, left designer Anita Dongre so impressed that she has used these artworks in her upcoming summer collection

“I have been aware of Aseema and their good work for a few years as I also run a wellness centre, Clay, where Aseema products are on sale. Kids create paintings and the NGO sells their paintings and use it on mugs, coasters and some really interesting stuff.

Rajesh Jadiyar is one of the four kids who designed for the summer collection. Pics / Shadab Khan

I was impressed by the designs and decided to put those on T-shirts and kurtas. So, I spoke to the Chairman of the NGO, and we began work on a new collection,” explains designer Anita Dongre, who is one of the in-house brands that will retail the collection.

Talent hybrid
The collection features 20 exclusive designs in cotton and knits by four children — Rajesh Jadiyar, Roshni Jadhav, Reshma Bahamaniya and Rubina Khan. These designs are themed with symbols of the under-water world that depicts the diverse aquatic life; using floating fish, turtles, crabs and more.

The collection aims at being vibrant and youth-centric with vivid colours such as reds, warm blues combined with ashen shades of yellow and green.
“Aseema has a product division and art is a very important part of that.

Kurtas from the collection that showcases designs by four kids from Aseema, a city-based NGO

We believe that there is an artist in every child and we have an art studio in all the schools that come under our ambit. The children have been working under trained artists for many years,” informs Dilbur Parakh, Chairman, Aseema.

“The kids feel very motivated and proud when they see their art on products. And when a famous designer is using their art, it’s very encouraging and it builds up their self-esteem,” she adds.

Encouragement trail
For these kids, who come from economically weaker sections of society, the collection has given them a major confidence boost. Rubina, who lives in Bandra’s Nargis Dutt Nagar along with her parents and siblings, wants be a painter.

She is elated at this development: “I feel very nice that my painting is on a designer’s collection. I drew whatever came to my mind using my imagination,” she avers.

Financially integral
Parakh also explains that this collaboration not only gives voice to the creativity of the kids in the NGO, but it also aids their sustainability. “It helps us reach out to more children and provide them with better facilities and services,” reasons Parakh.

“We adopt municipal schools. We have three schools at the moment in Mumbai and one school for tribal students at Igatpuri. Children don’t pay fees, so we constantly need income from donations and from the sale of our products to provide quality services to them,” she adds. While the proceeds from the collection will not reach the NGO directly, the designer’s brand has already paid a lump sum amount to them for the designs.

The collection will be available in Global Desi stores from May onwards.
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