Category Archives: Stories

Morgan Stanley celebrates volunteering day with colours!

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The team at Morgan Stanley wanted to do something special and different for their volunteering day. There were many objectives to achieve – team building, having fun along with being able to make a difference in someone’s life.

They decided to brighten up the walls of a hospital with the help of the Art for Akanksha team.

We took the theme of ‘things that make me happy and things that I’m grateful for’ and opened it out for brainstorming in both the teams and came up with an interesting list of moments that we all feel grateful for. It ranged from family, friends, sunshine to education and food and music to playing football or feeling your hair in the wind as you cycle!

We took this list of a mix of serious as well as the whimsical into simple sketches, which were painted on 35 canvases and through a serious of workshops, got over 200 employees from two of the Morgan Stanley offices to paint on them.

The workshops were simple, fun and for most of the participants really surprising. They surprised themselves and each other with what they could do with colours. And we hope that the art brightens up many hospital walls!

“I want to be known by my work.”

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A shy little child joined Akanksha at the age of eight. Her name was Sana. “Before I joined Akanksha I was scared of everything. In the school that I went to, my teachers would beat me, and insult me in front of the whole class. They would ask me why I come to school if I don’t have money. I didn’t have any friends in school either.” Sana’s aunt got them word that a new tuition class had started nearby and her mother was keen on seeing what it was all about. What was Akanksha? What could it do for her? Little Sana hardly thought about it. Her mother was supportive of the idea and when Sana went to the Akanksha centre, a new world opened up for her. A world which helped Sana become who she is today – an alumni who upholds every value that Akanksha has ever taught; a self assured, honest, diligent professional with a heart of gold and a head full of dreams; a responsible and loving daughter and sister who supports a family of seven. Sana is someone you’re not likely to forget if you’ve met her once.

“When I think of pre-Akanksha days, I get upset. Those are the only memories that I’d want to erase from my life. I remember, it was raining hard one day and I went to school without a raincoat and was wet from head to toe. The teachers told me to stay out till my clothes were dry.”

“I joined design class at a time when everything was going wrong for me and I had really low self esteem. But the more classes I attended the more I learnt about myself. I learnt that I should never laugh at anyone or pull them down. I learnt that I should always encourage people and help them grow in confidence.”

“I could neither speak nor understand English before I joined Akanksha. I could never tell the difference between today, tomorrow and yesterday! But now I interact with my clients in English, I conduct workshops at corporates with complete confidence. I love home exhibitions purely because I get a chance to talk to so many individuals. This change in me happened only because of my education. Stepping into the Akanksha centre was like stepping into heaven. I was showered with love and affection from everyone. And a lot many opportunities came my way as well.”

Sana was 18, when her family needed financial support and she had to get a job. Her familiarity with Akanksha brought her back and today Sana is an integral part of Art for Akanksha and works as an Art Associate. “Many of my friends are married, but now my parents know I am capable of earning and being independent. I have been working with the art department for many years now. It is here that I have learnt to make choices for myself.”

“Art and work have completely changed my life! It has given me the confidence to look at things differently, to find solutions to problems. Through art I’ve learnt to give a 100% to my work, at all times, keeping personal problems aside, I ensure that things get done on time. I don’t want people to know me by my name. But I want them to know me by my work.”

“In art class I came up with my own unique style of using dots. It was a phase, where I only used dots and I would get completely engrossed in them. The dot was a mirror that helped me realise my potential. I’ve tried to bring it back again! Hope you like it.”

 

Art Comes to Grant Road Station

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Grant Road Station, 10 am, October 2, Gandhi Jayanti. It’s unbelievable how much action there was. A little team from Akanksha painted away on a dirty, wet portion of the station as part of a larger initiative to make the railway stations of the city a little less dreary.

Before we knew it, a painter on his way to work dropped by to give us his suggestions, a father with his five year old decided to not go where he was going and joined us instead! The organisers were so excited that they became our team of painters.

It’s amazing how things happen even when they feel like they’re not happening.

Hats off to the little team of Akanksha alumni, headed by Suraj, who worked on this!

This is one of the two walls that the Akanksha team is painting.

Art for Akanksha murals are a great way to have a space transformed while painting with a group of little artists from Akanksha. We paint office spaces, bedrooms, schools – we just need a brief and a wall!! Get in touch with ruchika.gupta@akanksha.org

Visit our shop http://www.artforakanksha.org/shop-products/

Laheriya Magic!

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It was like watching a magician unfold a magic trick. The gasps, the aww, the bright eyes that filled the room were amazing to watch as Badshah Miyan, a national award winning Laheriya artist taught a class in one of the Akanksha run BMC schools.

Understated in his style and thrilled to be teaching, Badshah Miyan said ‘Who says India does not have talent. Give these children a month with a technique like laheriyan and watch the wonders.’ Teachers who watched the workshop felt that such opportunities were key in providing students a sense of respect for art forms that are slowly disappearing. There is no greater sense of achievement than actually creating something yourself from scratch.

We thank the team at Paramparik Karigar for the work they do in bringing artisans to the city and providing schools like our’s the chance to believe in magic.

A palette full of happiness

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When there’s art and oodles of colour there can only be an abundance of joy and happiness. And that was the sole objective of the mural painting activity organised by Novartis in partnership with Art for Akanksha for the children of St. Borges Home – a hospice that offers shelter to many a child and adult who come to Mumbai for cancer treatment.

The plain white walls of the St Borges hall/ cafeteria slowly metamorphosed into an expression of joyous abandon as the Novartis employees teamed up with St. Borges children and were guided by the Akanksha design class alumni. They all dabbled with colours and created some of their own. They painted with their fingers and gave the art on the wall a voice so unique!

The fabulous outcome doesn’t just reflect off the walls today, but will stay on as colourful memories with all those who participated at St. Borges Home.

Art for Akanksha murals are a great way to have a space transformed while painting with a group of little artists from Akanksha. We paint office spaces, bedrooms, schools – we just need a brief and a wall!! Get in touch with ruchika.gupta@akanksha.org

 

 

Alumni Feature: “The dot helped me realise my potential”

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Hi. I am Sana. I am an Akanksha alumnus. I joined design class when everything was going wrong for me and I had really low self esteem. But the more classes I attended the more I learnt about myself. I learnt that I should never laugh at anyone or pull them down. I learnt that I should always encourage people and help them grow in confidence.

In art class I came up with my own unique style of using dots. It was a phase where I only used dots and I would get completely engrossed in them. The dot was a mirror that helped me realise my potential. I’ve tried to bring it back again! Hope you like it.

 

Watch out for the ‘Art for Akanksha Retrospective Collection’ which brings back some of the art, products as well as students that go back almost 25 years and brings it back to the present.  It is about ideas, motifs and themes that keep the essence of its Akanksha creators but with a more modern feel.

 

Alumni Feature: “Art class taught me to believe in myself”

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“Hi. I am Naval. I am an Akanksha alumnus. Art class taught me to believe in myself and never give up in any situation. I started my journey here as a student and today I teach art to all my students. Whatever I’ve learned so far through art, I’d like to give back to all my kids.

The fish motif used to be a predominant feature in all my art work as a child. I’ve tried to bring it back in a new avatar. Hope you like it.”

 

Watch out for the ‘Art for Akanksha Retrospective Collection’ which brings back some of the art, products as well as students that go back almost 25 years and brings it back to the present.  It is about ideas, motifs and themes that keep the essence of its Akanksha creators but with a more modern feel.

These are a few of my favorite things!

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“Art, according to me, should be appreciated. And what better way to appreciate art than through your early morning cup of coffee every day?”

“My Akanksha coffee mug, containing a beautiful picture of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous painting, the Starry Night, is definitely my most favorite Akanksha product. Everyone who sees it always end up asking me where I purchased it from, because it’s definitely the most gorgeous coffee mug they’ve ever come across. Another plus point to this product is that it’s a perfect size, giving me just the amount of coffee I need to get through my days!”

Surabhi Batra, 27 years

Art & Craft: What’s that Splash!

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We are back again! This art activity is especially for those children who love to get messy. It’s about teaching them that art can be created out of even the biggest mess, and how they can explore, see things differently and develop new ideas through art.

Suitable for 5 to 8 year olds

Materials Needed:

  • Cartridge paper
  • Black markers
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Primary colors
  • Brushes

Method:

Take some paint in your brush and put it on paper. Add a couple of colors and then a little water. Hold the paper and let the paint move around till it looks like a mess!

Wait for it to dry.

As the sheet is drying, pull out a pre-painted / dried sheet of paper. Ask your child to look really hard. Can they see anything in there? Help by starting – “Oh, I see a giraffe! Let me outline it with a marker.” Before you know it, you will see an entire scene in that mess!

Once their sheets are dry, let them start looking. Let them outline it with a marker.

Don’t forget to appreciate their outstanding creativity!

Thoughts and After Questions:

Was it easy or was it difficult? When you really look hard, you can see amazing things!

The Art for Akanksha workshops create a common platform for children and adults from different sections of the society to interact with each other. The sessions empower each of them with the knowledge, that no matter how different they are, they have the same potential.

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