Kolkata: A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple – “Lehar for Change” was a noble initiative by 18-year-old student Aadya Bhartia from Loreto House, Kolkata who believes that social progress is like a wave and gradually, the rising tide will lift us all. “Lehar For Change” was an art exhibition that showcased handicraft products by 40 students aged between 5 years and 18 years from various welfare schools. Inaugurated by US Consul General Craig L. Hall, UK Deputy Commissioner Bruce Bucknell and eminent Indian artists Bratin Khan and Tanusree Shankar at The Bengal Gallery (ICCR) on Saturday, October 14th, the exhibition continued till Sunday, October 15th.
Aadya Bhartia, a class 12 student, always had a serious knack towards Arts – be it quilting, punch craft or floral installations. Her creativity was put to a better use when she decided to educate and facilitate art among children from welfare schools and to help them with means of employment.
Aadya observed, “I actually realized that just through art I was able to give them an outlet to express themselves. Trying to cope with studies at school, sports and then teaching them was a challenge but it taught me how essential time management is. I am overwhelmed with the kind of response we got today, I am grateful to each and everyone who has been a part of this journey, and I want to thank Mrs. Gouri Basu, Mr. Goutam De, Mallika Varma, our special guests, Mr & Mrs Craig Hall, Mr & Mrs Bruce Bucknell, Mr Bratin Khan, Ms. Tanusree Shankar and my support system, my family, without these people the exhibition wouldn’t have been possible.”
The wave of Lehar began with a very touching incident – a little girl from Archana Girls Primary School waved at Aadya from the balcony. Aadya waved back and her avid eyes lit a flame in Aadya’s heart, what change could she bring by sharing her time with these children. She used art to bring a transition in the lives of these underprivileged children culminating into the exhibition as a symbol of achievement appreciating the hard work invested for all these years at Lehar.
The exhibition witnessed massive footfall; the visitors went all praises for the kind of paintings and handicraft products the children made under the guidance of Aadya. More than half of the paintings and products are already booked!
Mr Craig L. Hall, US Consul General was pleased to be a part of this exhibition, he said, “At this young age this girl has a strong vision already and we need more social enthusiasts like her.” Well known Indian Artist’s Bratin Khan and Tanusree Shankar were marvelled by her precision and sincere efforts!
The handmade gift bags at the exhibition were made at Archana Primary School, the terracotta diyas and tea light holders were made at Basha School with assistance from professional potters, hand-painted diyas have been made at Ek Prayaas. The other attractions include newspaper bags made at Disha Foundation, urli paper potlis, lanterns and envelopes made by the girls at Karmyog, coin purses and paper bags made at EkTara and gift tags, greeting cards and paper envelopes are made at all schools. The price of the products starts from INR 20 and go up to INR 550. The 44 paintings by the NGO children range between INR 2500 – INR 3500 and also showcases Aadya’s paintings that start from INR 10, 000. The proceeds from the sales will be used for the cause of NGO Welfare.