To give students from the government schools in the city a holistic view of different skills and concepts through experience, a team from Sastra University alumni has come together and launched a project called Redefine. They organise seven-week art programmes in selected schools and teach students various arts and crafts.
As a tribute to Kalam, 27 students from the school created an 11x13 artwork called The Big Picture using 2,000 butterflies made by origami craft. “We wanted to redefine education and revolutionise the way in which children learn, grow and teach. While working with some of the schools in the city, we understood that the students in government schools don’t get much exposure to art and crafts like other students. We wanted to introduce them to interesting elements of arts,” says Maharaja, one of the volunteers.
Every artist can trace their passion to a point of inspiration that instigated it. Inspiration at a young age can potentially snowball into a flourishing career. “We wanted every child to have that chance to be inspired. We aim to bring about a ‘butterfly’ effect on every child’s life. When we contacted the Chennai Urdu Middle School at Perambur Barracks Road with our project, the school management was more than happy to collaborate. Around 20 volunteers from Redefine visited the school on almost all weekends and taught them Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding,” says Sowmyanarayanan S, another volunteer. The team has partnered with Teach for India for this project.
The students were thrilled to create something with their own hands. In this project, they used the fluttering of butterfly wings to create an image of Kalam.
“Kalam is an inspiration to everyone and we thought a larger image of him should be registered inside kids. During our art programme, we inculcate one soft skill and this time, we took teamwork as a soft skill,” he adds.