METRO PLUS

Urchins' artistry

Latent talent of childre n amuses onlookers at Maris Stella exhibition, says Mubin Sultan

For a day, the large auditorium of Maris Stella College, hub of most of the activities in the campus turned itself into an inspiring hall with colourful and useful products of artistic hands.

"It is an opportunity for street children to interact and feel comfortable in a normal society amidst people who are more fortunate than them.

oThe objective behind the exhibition is to help our students understand the value of family, for most of the children are victims of irresponsible parents and strewn families," says college principal Thresiamma. pStudents and staff of department of social work in Maris Stella College conducted an art and craft exhibition, the artists being street children.

Care and Share, a charitable trust thought it most appropriate to sell books and bags of various kinds useful to students. Children of Deepa Nivas enthralled the visitors with their remarkable woodcarvings of the size of a postcard. "Carpentry and wood carving is a favourite activity among us," says Nagendra Kumar a hosteller.

While Vasavya Mahila Mandali attracted the students with Kalamkari and Batik printed textiles for girls, Madonna High School for the Deaf offered baskets, toys, sarees and decorative material for sale.

Books on AIDS and Child Rights awareness complied by the residents of Navajeevan Bala Bhavan made the stall different from the rest.

The stall of SKCV Children's Home was the largest in the exhibition and it sold everything from bookmarks to large size paintings, all created by its students. "Exhibitions such as these encourage the children to do better and better and also hope for progress and recognition of their work," says Bhakti of SKCV. Art works with the use of grass, sand and pieces of glass captivated the attention of the students.

The programme co-coordinator and Head of the Social Work Department Saraswati Raj Iyer is happy that the exhibition has drawn the attention of many people towards the hidden talents of these street children.

Students swarmed the information cell set up by the Forum for Child Rights in Vijayawada. While many were curious to find statistical information of street children in the city, many others wanted to know if there is anything they can do when they see a runaway kid.

The answer to such a question is 1098, a help line exclusively for the rescue of street children. It was one of the rarest occasions wherein most of the NGOs working in the city for street children were stationed under one roof.

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