By OdishaLIVE Special Correspondent

Balasore (Odisha): The school children of a non- descript remote village of district of Balasore have been given training on art by a Mumbai based art organization which has been passionately engaged in making creative arts movement in different schools.

It is the Hathigarh Primary school under Kalika Gram Panchayat in Jaleswar block. Kalika GP is identified and adopted for development as an ‘Adarsh Gram’ or ‘Model Village’ under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana of the Government of India by the local MP RK Jena.

Improvement in the condition of schools and the quality of education in the gram panchayat level was the top priority for Mr. Jena as he sought to lay down a strong edifice for development. A group of 6 artists from the ‘Scribble Foundation’, a Mumbai-based organization, visited the Hatigarh Primary School. From 16th. May 2016 the training and exposure programme was conducted for these children by the organization.

Today, four classrooms in the Hatigarh Primary School have been transformed into warm and welcoming learning spaces; it marks the successful roll out of a detailed roadmap prepared by Mr. Jena to guarantee learning outcomes for the children in a fun filled environment, which could demonstrate a happy and learning school.

“Art in the classroom not only spurs creativity, it also inspires learning”, said Alisha Aranha from Scribble Foundation. Adding, “The children have so much potential and their energy levels are contagious. I am extremely thankful to Mr. Jena and glad that Scribble and everyone associated was able to make this small contribution to these children and their classrooms”.

It all started in February 2016, when the Member of Parliament Mr. RK Jena roped in Swaniti Initiative, a non-profit development organization that works with elected representatives and senior policy makers to deliver solutions at the constituency level, to undertake a detailed assessment of the condition in Kalika and interact with the different stakeholders so that an appropriate development strategy could be chalked out.

“People’s participation in fixing priorities and being partners in the development process is imperative to bring about the desired transformation and I want the people to share their vision and aspirations so that we together can develop Kalika as an Adarsh Gram”, Jena said.

The team from Swaniti Initiative led by Utkarsha Bhardwaj, proposed that the learning spaces need to be engaging and inspire the students since they spend a significant amount of time in the classrooms.

“The idea is to create a learning space, which would not just push each child to imagine a life of limitless opportunities but also ensure that each second in the classroom counts”, said Utkarsha Bhardwaj.

So, based on these extensive inputs and a go-ahead from Mr. Jena, the team approached Scribble Foundation to launch a Classroom Canvas Project in Kalika during the summer vacation. The team from Scribble Foundation also conducted a week-long arts and crafts workshop for the students.

As the students expressed their anxieties to the artists at the end of a day full of learning activities involving origami, shapes, paper crafts and more, the MP, Jena feels that this unique measure would prove to be a game-changer for youngsters in Kalika. He further said that the youngsters of Kalika were second to none and given the platform, they have shown their potential.

The project will also cover the primary schools in Nimdihi and Tentula villages.

Mr. Jena also appreciated the District Education Officer and the Panchayat members of Kalika for their support and cooperation during the conception and implementation of the project. Expressing confidence that this is just the beginning, Mr. Jena placed on record his appreciation for the effort put in by the team from Scribble Foundation and Swaniti Initiative and exuded hope that this initiative will act as a catalyst for change and development in Kalika.

“There is a lot to be done and together with the active cooperation of the people of Kalika and the Swaniti team, I am sure we will be able to transform Kalika into a model village”, he said.


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