‘You can’t always do what you love. You have to do what you have to do.’

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We introduce to you Raahul Patil, another talented Akanksha and art alumnus. Rahul’s exposure to creativity and art began at his art class in the centre and later on through the many opportunities and competitions he participated in through Akanksha’s ‘Learning to Lead’ program. At 21, having completed his B.Com, he’s looking for a job in a bank because that’s what his family needs him to do but if he could do what he wanted, it would be art. “Before I joined Akanksha I had no one to teach me the subjects that I was taught in school. My father never had a chance to attend school as he had to look after his younger brother and my mother studied only till Standard IV. So I practically had no financial or tutorial support in terms of studies, till I joined Akanksha.” When Raahul’s mother found out from her trusted friends that their children were attending an Akanksha centre, she got Raahul and his siblings enrolled as well so that they would at least use their free time constructively as Akanksha had a lot to offer.

“Life in an Akanksha Centre was really happening and busy! We had so much going on in the centre… current affairs, values education and a lot more. Thanks to the exposure and various learning opportunities I felt so much more informed and intelligent than the other students in my school.”

“Life changed for the better after Akanksha… and art helped me gain confidence. Akanksha helped me evolve into someone who was mature, someone who was not afraid to take decisions, and was responsible for my society, family and myself. It made me understand myself better. Today when I take up work opportunities I realise that for me work is all about learning new things and improving on our skills; to me it is about taking responsibilities and trying to do our best.”

Raahul has made it a point to stay connected to art through his college and was the set and stage designer for many events. However he says, “Art is what I really love but I can’t follow it. I have to be there for my mother and need the financial security of a regular job. Art is a space with no boundaries and limits. I can do what I want and express what I feel. It has helped me gain an identity for myself. People call me an artist which I really like.”

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