Published: 24th October 2019
This 12-year-old Chennai girl is using art therapy to help kids in Government schools
Vedaa Choradia is on a mission to positively influence underprivileged children through art therapy, and help their work and stories reach people
Looking at the sheer determination of Greta Thunberg and other young activists all around the world rallying to create a better tomorrow, this writer can’t help but think that ‘children these days’ really want to create a lasting impact in ways their predecessors failed to do. A case in point, albeit closer to home, is Vedaa Choradia, a Class 7 student of aLphabet international school, Chennai, who wants to use art to help underprivileged children. “I want to conduct regular art therapy workshops for children in government schools and low-income private schools. Recently, I conducted a ‘line art’ class for children from Rainbow Home, Chetpet, recently where they learnt all about creative expression through line patterns. I believe that art is a wonderful therapeutic medium that can really help heal the wounds of trauma and abuse that these children may have had to go through because they are not as privileged as ‘normal folks.’ I hope to help them realise their potential through art as well,” says the vivacious pre-teen without a hint of doubt.
Vedaa started dabbling in art from the age of six and has since explored every style and method there is. “I would say that whatever I know is a combination of experimentation as well as formal learning (as she went to art classes too). My teachers and other artists who have been following my progress think that I have reached a point where I can impart my lessons to others,” shares the 12-year-old.
But art is one thing and art therapy is another. How did she learn about the latter at such a young age? “Last year, Mahima Poddar, a certified trainer in Expressive Art Therapy, had hosted a six-week workshop at our school. I was impressed with the idea behind it – that creative expression can foster mental well-being – but at that time, I did not have a concrete idea in mind. Later, while working on a school project, I came across the co-founders of Cocky and Bonny, an initiative that curates and sells the artworks of underprivileged children along with letting the consumer know about the stories of struggle behind the artwork. When I told them that I would like to collaborate with them, they were more than happy to do so,” she recalls.
Vedaa wants to use art as a medium to heal and empower
This confident 12-year-old, whose friends describe her as a ‘crazy, creative and book-loving person’ also recently started a dedicated blog, Peachpuff, to pen down her thoughts related to art and writing – her two favourite pastimes, in addition to displaying the works of underprivileged children in association with Nalandaway, a city-based NGO. She adds, “I post articles on a weekly basis. They can be on any topic related to art and writing, and how either or both of these pursuits have positively influenced me.” She even displays the artworks she has done so far on her blog and encourages others to start discussions on their take on them. She has even pinned an interview with Preeti Garg, Co-founder of Gallery Veda, on her blog in order to throw light on different perspectives of art.
The extent of her dedication to giving back to society is evident in the ‘about’ section of her blog, in which she says that she wants her work to reflect upon her goal of being a ‘compassionate, considerate and empathetic young citizen.’ We can’t help but marvel at how mature her thinking is even at this tender age! Vedaa also plans to expand the purview of her blog and venture into all things related to all types of art, both visual and performing arts, as she believes she can connect better with young people having a wide range of interests in this way.