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IndiArt - Bridging Children Through Art

Ranjani Saigal

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

IndiArt, an art competition by Ekal (www.ekal.org), is aimed at local students with global minds. It enables children from the New England area to use their art to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in India. This program, the brainchild of Jharna Madan uses art as a medium to educate children in the US to learn about the life of children in rural remote villages in India where Ekal Vidyalayas are run. Ekal has a presence in 54,000 villages teaching over 1.5 million children. 

This one of a kind event was an event that was - for the children and by the children. A young 7th grader, Megha Dalal, coined the name IndiArt. It was remarkable way to engage children of different age groups in thinking about the lives of children who lived in a dramatically different environment from their own. 
This year IndiArt had over 100 participants and the theme for IndiArt 2015 was 'Colors of rural India'. The participants got the opportunity to work with IndiArt ambassadors, who are passionate artists themselves. The effort was supported by Dr. Java Joshi, Gopika Narula, Mridula Satyamurti, Kala Kumar, Smitha Bharadwaj & Mamta Mehra. 
The awards ceremony and auction was held on Sunday, May 3, 3 - 5pm at Academy of Creative Arts, Burlington, MA. All entries were judged by honorable judges: Priti Lathia, Helen Moriarty, Vandana Sharma, Laxmi Sharma, Jigna Shah and Sunanda Sahay.

Dr. Subra Dravida, President of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, New England chapter talked about Ekal. First prize winner, Nikhil Jagan, a second grader was so moved by the Ekal movement that he donated his entire 200 $ back to Ekal.  He was the recipient of one of the beautiful love fairies donated by the Rita Madan foundation. Rita Madan is the mother of Jharna Madan. 
The main sponsor of the event was Santhana Krishnan Owner of Asian Art Gallery. Talking about the event Mr. Krishnan said “ Ekal Vidyalaya Boston has created wonderful platform "IndiArt" to expose our children to the wonderful mission of bringing education to 1.5 million children in 53,000 rural villages in India . IndiArt takes our kids back to India and imagine them in the environment these Ekal kids are growing up. Asian Art Gallery is very proud to be associated with this multi-faceted initiative. The 100 paintings submitted were amazing!”. Other sponsors of the event were The Curry House, Pinots Pallet & Rita Madan Foundation.

Anupendra Sharma created a unique art auction where the children could bid for the paintings and purchase them. “We are creating a next generation of art investors” said Sharma. 
Event Director, Jharna Madan said “We are truly humbled and overwhelmed with the wonderful response and hope to make IndiArt and annual event. Thank you to all participants and especially parents who took time to sit and talk to their children about rural India”.

We look forward to growing this event.  Kudos to Jharna Madan for coming up with this unique idea and implementing it successfully.
Here are the results:
Highest Bid: Ria Sharma
Most creative Interpretation of theme: Naaz Thotathil
Honorable mention: Om Sharma
1st- Urvi Chakraborty
2nd- Esha Shetty
3rd- Neha Chandra
Honorable Mention- Anindita Lal & Sneha Arora
1st: Pia Jain
2nd: Sanjana Krishna
3rd: Saumya Bothra
Honorable Mantion: Pooja Kumaravel & Sanjana Srinivas
Sub Junior B:
1st: Nikhil Jagan
2nd: Aditya Hande
3rd: Prajna Sajjan
Honorable Mention: Narayan Sajeev & Tess Thattacherry
Sub Junior A:
1st: Tanush Tumula
2nd: Anya Joshi
Honorable Mention: Lauren Corr, Pravar Mukkala & Nikhil Shokeen


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