Published: 04th July 2020
Want to help a poor family in Chennai buy groceries? Buy a painting from Maisha Studio
Artist and art educator Aishwarya Manivannan and her students have kickstarted the sale of paintings that they've made along with a few underprivileged children
Getting infected by the Coronavirus could be the worst fear right now for a lot of you who are reading this. This is definitely not the case for a lot of people around us, especially in a country where more than 27 crore people are still below the poverty line. In fact, artist and educator Aishwarya Manivannan recalls a lot of them telling her how they are afraid of dying of hunger, more than the virus. Let us not forget how the lockdown left lakhs of people unemployed in our country.
Now, what if we tell you that helping them out is quite easy? Apparently all that you have to do is buy a piece of art. Aishwarya's art school Maisha Studio has put a set of paintings up for sale on their website, created by her students, along with a few underprivileged children of Gummidipoondi, whom they mentored. All the proceedings from the sale of these paintings will go towards buying groceries for 260 underprivileged families in and around Gummidipoondi.
One of the paintings that is up for sale
Aishwarya tells us that Maisha Studio has already pledged 2.6 Lakh towards this cause and provided groceries to these families. "We made sure that we distributed these groceries before June 19, the day when Chennai went under a strict lockdown, owing to the rising number of COVID cases. Their situation was quite bad and people needed immediate help," she says. The artist worked alongside a Chennai NGO called Sevai Karangal for the same.
Measuring 24"x24", each of these abstract landscape paintings are priced at Rs 6,000. A total of 50 paintings were up for sale and most of them are sold out already. "We will start delivering them to people as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Everything else is done online," says Aishwarya. She also tells us how realising the need, all of her students worked hard and for extra hours, wrapping up the project in a span of 48 hours.
Aishwarya is an artist, educator and designer
Someone who continuously engages herself in relief activities, Aishwarya reminds us how one's age and financial background is not really a barrier to help someone out. "As an artist and educator, I administer to my students the fact that in order to help society and make a change, it is not necessary that have to have the money. I make it a point to engage with my students. They have the potential to impact, as artists and designers, by imparting knowledge. Now this project is gratifying for them because they get to express themselves as artists while creating an impact," she says. Last year, Aishwarya's previous batch of students had mentored the underprivileged children of the same region, helping them create paintings. They had also set up a learning centre for the tribal children.