32 kids take part in art workshop to decorate cycle-rickshaws

One colourful cycle-rickshaw stands parked on a side street in Kuruchikuppam, the other stands in a garage, with a group of excited children running around it carrying paint brushes. There are a few other children who are putting finishing touches on their works of art on various panels of the rickshaw.

As it stands completed, the cycle rickshaw looks nothing like what one would expect, a boring yellow and black. Instead, every surface, from the tyre rims to the seats, has been painted in a variety of colours and patterns. For the most part, the paintings are based on a seaside theme.

The 32 children that took part in the workshop were from a variety of backgrounds. While most of them had paid to join the workshop, there was a significant number that had come in from the surrounding area and were learning how to paint.

Nurturing creativity

“The idea is to teach children that painting can be fun. Most schools do not teach art well, in fact the students are often asked to copy a picture that is drawn on the board. Here, I was trying to nurture creativity through this workshop,” Kirti Chandak, owner of the Tasmai Centre for Art and Culture, and who was conducting the workshop, said.

These children barely have any exposure to art, and through a workshop like this they will be able to better understand how to appreciate art.

On the first day, they were given some paintings by famous Indian artists and were asked to give their comments on it. Only after this exercise were they allowed to paint.

The children were then asked to paint on pieces of paper and the best paintings were chosen to be put on the rickshaw. The children were all given a portion and under the supervision of an artist, Saravanan, they were asked to paint.

The finished product will now be returned to the rickshaw drivers and will be seen on the roads of Puducherry.

This is part of a drive to promote public beautification, Ms. Chandak said.