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Turning coconut materials into pieces of art

Staff Reporter
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Students learn to create artwork from parts of tree

Students with their exhibits made from recycled materials from fallen trees at the Mudaliarpet Government Middle School in Puducherry on Monday.-Photo: T. Singaravelou.
Students with their exhibits made from recycled materials from fallen trees at the Mudaliarpet Government Middle School in Puducherry on Monday.-Photo: T. Singaravelou.

At first glance, the Ganesha in the front of the classroom held up by four men looks like something you would buy at a handicrafts shop: made by professionals that cost quite a large sum of money. On closer inspection, it becomes evident that some of the materials may have been recycled, but it is virtually impossible to tell that it was made from bits that have fallen off coconut and casuarina trees.

Although the uprooted coconut trees were a great loss to Puducherry, there was one school in particular that made sure the trees were put to good use. The Artchouna Soupraya Naikar Government Middle School in Mudaliarpet has come up with an innovative way to make full use of the dried parts of the coconut tree by turning them into pieces of art.

Ably led by their fine arts teacher A. Thangaraju and sewing teacher R. Savithri, girls from Class VIII of the ASN School participated in a three-day workshop where they learnt how to make jewellery and create artwork from various parts of the tree.

The girls have shown that with a little paint and polish, things that most people like to throw away can be converted into a work of art.

While the girls collected the materials, the art teachers got together to figure out what would go where in order to get the required output, Mr. Thangaraju said.

Even though the school received money from the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan to conduct the vocational skill development programme for girl students, the funds were not adequate to cover the cost of teaching 56 students how to make various handicrafts. The teachers had pooled in their own money to make the project a success, he said.

According to one of the students, the course was the most interesting project she had taken part in. Most of them were keen on making more of these handicrafts, even if it was not for the exhibition, she said.

A total of 56 students took part in the workshop, with each one making a different kind product. Around 30 students made the handicrafts, while the rest made jewellery.

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