This is a special space – one where the team of teachers, staff, children, alumni, partners and customers use their colours, shiny sequins and pompoms to talk about their art ideas, stories, triumphs as well as challenges. This is the voice of Art for Akanksha.

Giving his 100%

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“We place our minds on paper.”

Sounds like a psychoanalysis technique or a personality test exercise? It’s merely what Ashish Kamble does at the Akanksha Design Class.

Initially, Ashish didn’t enjoy the art sessions. His mother remembers the time he disliked drawing, made his sister do all his art homework and his teachers complained about his work. Today the same teachers appreciate his creativity. Even Ashish’s Design Class teacher, Salimunissa didi points out that “…though he wasn’t interested earlier, slowly, he began to be influenced by what he learnt, especially Van Gogh’s art. He learnt art wasn’t about perfection.” Things changed with this realisation: art doesn’t need to be perfect; it needs to be thought through.

Today, this 14-year old loves the art sessions as they let him have fun and get deeply involved in his work. Vidhya didi, Ashish’s Centre teacher talks of the boy’s unrelenting determination. “Earlier, he would withdraw into a shell if he couldn’t accept feedback. Later he not only started accepting feedback gracefully, but also worked on himself with utmost determination.” She also saw him grow in confidence, as he became more social over the course of his art classes. According to his mother the positive impacts are visible in school too. “Design class taught me to give 100% into everything I do and I am doing that with my schoolwork as well,” says Ashish.

This change isn’t limited to academics. Ashish now has bigger dreams for his life. He initially wanted to be a dancer, but now aspires to be a computer engineer. Why? “I want to make things different,” he chirps. “I notice colours in the world around me. How we bring those colours into real life is what matters.”

A Da Vinci waiting to create his masterpieces? We wish him luck.

Board exam score: 85%