Exposing tribal children to the fine arts

A camp for tribal children organised by Sahyadri Sanchaya in Uttara Kannada district recently.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

At a time when the entire nation was focussing on online education because of COVID-19, a few tribal students from remote areas of Uttara Kannada district, where access to Internet was limited, got hands-on education on arts and crafts from a group of green enthusiasts.

With about 75% forest cover, Uttara Kannada is perhaps the only district in the State whose greenery is still intact. There live people of tribal communities belonging to Halakki, Siddi, Kudubi, and Gouli.

The resource persons, under the banner Sahyadri Sanchaya, a Mangaluru-based body fighting for environmental issues, dropped in to remote areas of Joida, Yellapura, and Ankola from different parts of the State and held camps on nature between December 3 and January 15.

“We conducted 27 camps, covering about 500 children studying in government schools in the villages,” the convener of Sahyadri Sanchaya, Dinesh Holla, told The Hindu. The resource persons, about 20 of them, dropped in from Mangaluru, Puttur, Bengaluru, Hubballi, Ballari, and Kottigehara, he added.

“We taught them arts, crafts, line drawing, dance, singing, mimicry, kite making and kite flying, in addition to guiding them on improving their handwriting,” said Mr. Holla, who is an international kite flyer and artist. The students were also enlightened on environmental protection.

Panambur Vasudeva Aithal, an NRI living in the United States, sponsored all the camps conducted for primary and high school students, he said.

Books and fees

In addition to receiving study material, the students were given story books. Some resource persons also paid the school fees of some students whose parents were in penury, Mr. Holla said, adding that none of the camps were conducted inside any school buildings.

Bhaskar Naik, a teacher at the government primary school at Nandolli, near Yellapura, said that the off-school activities exposed the children to a number of skills which they had been deprived of. They also helped boost their confidence levels.

Prompted by the initiative, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd. is now donating furniture worth ₹5 lakh to 13 government schools in those areas, Mr. Holla said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 3:49:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/exposing-tribal-children-to-the-fine-arts/article33646619.ece

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