ART FOR THE BLIND
It would not only be difficult but extremely challenging if your eyes were blindfolded and you were asked to paint on canvas.
But Krupa Shah, an artist with a mission, firmly believes that art has a higher purpose in life. For the past 4 weeks, she has been teaching a bunch of visually impaired kids how to paint. Using painting as a medium of expression, she is teaching them that life is all about taking up challenges and showing the world that nothing is impossible.
At Happy Home and School for the Blind, Krupa trains these special kids in creating masterpieces with their paintbrushes by simply recognizing each colour by its unique smell. The colours are made of natural extract oils. And a fragrance is added to each colour to help children identify them. For instance, red smells of strawberry, brown colour smells of chocolate and white colour smells of vanilla. Making the concepts of colour exciting for the children.
Was there any challenge in creating this magical experience for the blind kids?
Krupa, says, that while it was important for the kids to know that blindness shouldn’t deter them from painting, there were challenges in teaching them to do so. Training them in handling tools and moving them within the space of the canvas was challenging. Also, it was difficult to teach them how to create a balance between warm and cool toned colours. But what made the efforts worth it, was their willingness to learn.
These children already have an inferiority complex because of their lack of vision. Painting makes them feel they are no different. The ability to create something on their own helps them gain self-dependence and self-confidence.
Krupa says, “As an artist I know that you don’t need eyes to paint. You need passion and an expression. It is with this in mind, that I help these kids to paint and help turn their obstacles into opportunities.”
Krupa has given expressions to different issues and social ethos through her art. In the fight for #JusticeForAsifa, Krupa made a huge painting of Asifa and gathered funds to the tune of more than Rs. 1 Lakh. Krupa has also painted for the cause of drought affected farmers of Maharasthra, and handed it to the Chief Minister of the state, Devendra Fadnavis and his wife.
Krupa mentors women at FICCI about business and spirituality, on how to raise funds as women entrepreneurs and how to follow their true calling. Recently she returned from United Kingdoms, after representing India at the Women Economic Forum. She was the only Indian to be invited on the dais wherein she spoke on how women entrepreneurs face the positives and negatives on their path of making a mark in the society.
She is currently in talks with the State Education Minister, Vinod Tawde to ensure that art is made mandatory in schools and colleges. She says, “Today’s millennials are so occupied with their technology and gadgets, that they need art as a stress buster.”
And I could not agree more!
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