November 30, 2008

Networking gurus and campuses

School Principal Nirmala was doubly excited. And she did not contain the effulgence.
She had lots to celebrate.
Lady Sivaswamy Girls School, an institution inMylapore with a remarkable history behind it, had themed its annual exhibition 'Women Achievers'.
There were exhibitions and talks and plays.
But one section of the show was abuzz - the stalls set up on campus to showcase and sell little things that senior students had made in their spare time.
Most of the products were quickly snapped up by student colleagues and guests.
Ear rings, purses, wrist bands . . .
Now, the girls had realised that their skills were valuable and that if they worked on a business idea they could be successful, A realisation that is key to youngsters who hail from commercially challenged backgrounds.
Meera Rao is a veteran craft guru and lives in Abhiramapuram. She had trained and guided hundreds of people, mainly women.
And when she has time she goes out of the way to train art and craft teachers in local schools so they in turn can teach and train senior students in the classroom.
The school event and Rao's work brings me to an idea that should be a neighbourhood endeavour.
Can we have a group of people in our neighbourhoods who do three simple things free time?
One - compile a list of the gifted and talented people in their neighbourhood who are willing to volunteers to train not so well off students in art, crafts, cooing, electronics.
Two - network with local campuses which lack extracurricular facilities and mentors and arrange for classes and workshops for students.
Three - raise funds to keep these projects going.
f such a group cam bring the two together then we should witness a wonderful development.
Kamla Ravikumar runs a studio in Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar. She teaches art to two different groups - children and adults. Last year, we invited het to work with children at Nageswara Rao Park in Luz and teache them how to create stuff with clay. The kids wouldn't let her go!
I am sure Kamla will be willing to spare an hour for a local Corporation school if a group networked with her.
May be it is an idea the ever-active Thursday Ladies Club based in the same area can take up.
If you do know of such initiatives elsewhere, please share them with me. Mail me.

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