If B-schools ask students to take up small ventures to learn business principles and let them earn while they learn, can art schools be far behind?
Bidar-based Yogesh Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya is launching a venture that will be profitable for the students as well as impart knowledge. Its students and teachers are preparing hundreds of ecologically sustainable Ganesh idols for today’s Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
“We wanted to achieve two things with this: help students understand commercial art and make them environmentally conscious,” says Yogesh Mathad, secretary of the art school. “Most of the idols today are produced on a mass scale by pressing plaster of Paris or synthetic materials into plastic moulds. They take a long time to dissolve in water. Some metallic colours are insoluble in water and damage the environment due to their lead content. Therefore, we have started this practice of creating Ganesh idols from jedi mannu (clay) devoid of chemicals. We also began selling idols painted with natural, water soluble colours and plain ones.”
“Students who have opted for clay modelling and some final year students have created a few idols till now. We are working towards a target of 100,” he said.
They got an encouraging sign from Raghu Krishnamurthy, a member of the Rotary Club of Bidar New Century who placed an order for 40 idols. “As responsible citizens, we would like to lead by example. Our members have decided to instal eco-friendly Ganesha idols at their homes,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.
The idols have a small premium over machine-made models.
The school will let the students keep the proceeds from the sale.
Idol making is part of course work and students will earn marks for their models.
“Each clay idol is unique as it is handcrafted. Therefore, we have made sure that each one has a different dress code and design. We have also made sure that the size, shape, and colours of the idols are distinct,” said Siddappa Marakhal, a student.
“We brought clay from pot makers in Janawada and surrounding villages. It had to be cleaned and seasoned with cotton and water. It takes a lot of effort to get the desired curves in this type of clay,” said Raju Deene, another student.