Published: 14th March 2019
This 17-year-old from Kalaburagi is making intricate paper cuttings of insects to spread awareness
Syeda Manzar Fathima from Kalaburagi, a 17-year-old isn't just aware of more than 50 species of insects, but she can even make intricate paper cuttings
A few days ago, when the District Science Centre in Kalaburagi organised Innovation Festival 2019, many students from different schools and colleges participated to present their experiments. On display were huge pieces of equipment and models that depicted the various discoveries made in the field of Science. But the intricate paper cuttings of insects is what caught the attention of many visitors. What was so special about them, you wonder? Syeda Manzar Fathima, the teenager who poured her heart into them, made her art even more interesting by educating listeners about the characteristics, benefits and harmful qualities of each of these insects. She also demonstrated how, within minutes, she was able to make the detailed paper cuttings. Truly, it was a sight to behold!
Fathima is a first-year degree student of Government Women's Polytechnic College in Kalaburagi. Though she is pursuing a Diploma in Commercial Practice, her fascination for insect species remains intact. She says, "I was in class VI when I developed an interest in observing small insects. At first, I thought that ants just have tiny features, but they are really interesting creatures. I started closely observing their colour, shape, the way they move and their habitat. Initially, my interest was limited to the various species of butterflies and ants, but I soon expanded my horizon to learn about other insects species as well."
And the winner is: Fathima won the first prize in the Innovation Festival 2019 for her work about insects in the Arts and Crafts category (Pic: Syeda Manzar Fathima)
What led this 17-year-old to make paper cuttings of insects is an interesting story. Fathima explains, "Like every other creature on Earth, there are harmless and harmful insects. It is dangerous to touch harmful insects as they might bite. In such cases, children who are keen on inspecting these insects kill them as they fear that the tiny creatures might harm them. But it is important that even such insects remain alive to maintain the ecological balance. That's why I decided to draw them on paper, cut them in the proper shape and show it to school children. Now, many children in my area have stopped killing insects." Her skills are so close to perfection that her paper cuttings hardly go wrong. Features like the wings, eyes and antennae make the paper cutting look quite real. This has contributed to Fathima’s growing popularity in schools as she's now a favourite among the students and they call her Chitte Akka (butterfly sister).
Being Creative: Intricate paper cuttings of more than 50 types of insects by Syeda Manzar Fathima (Pic: Akshay Uramundin)
To follow her passion unperturbed, Fathima has received enough encouragement and support from her father, Syed Sami Haider who works as a Science resource person in Peace International Islamic School, Kalaburgi. "My siblings and I are always busy helping our father build models that can help him teach experiments at school. Hence, my interest in Science has always remained intact. I have displayed my paper cuttings at several Science exhibitions. Till now, I have received a good response from teachers, professors from various colleges and students. Many of them have invited me to deliver a lecture on insects and their importance. Some of them have even asked me to take a session on making paper cuttings," she says happily. Here's hoping she grows to spread her paper wings and fly high.