Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Awareness through Art!!

As the saying goes,' A picture is worth a thousand words!!' 


On the joint collaboration of US Embassy Youth Council (USYC), Animal Rights Club (ARC), & YUWA, drawing competition was organized within the students of Shree Malpur Secondary School, Sauraha Chitwan. Program was conducted with the theme of the conservation of endangered Asian elephants on 11th January, 2015. Altogether, 44 students took part in the competition who drew the pictures of elephants with the message - "Hatti Mero Sathi" i.e "Elephant: my friend".
There are approximately 16,000 working elephants in dozens of countries of Asia and 208 in Nepal. Mahouts often do have a deep and genuine care for the wellbeing of their elephants. For example, traditional mahout culture includes Tharus, who are known widely for their strong bond with nature and animals. But still they are compelled to treat elephants with cruelty because of the widespread misconception that pain and fear is necessary for controlling an elephant. The main reason for using pain-inflicting methods is not cruelty, but an unawareness of the existence of an efficient, animal-friendly alternative.


These days we have also been hearing about negative responses from tourists about how inhumanely elephants are treated. Hence, realizing this fact, this program was a small initiation to imprint the young kids about the elephants and their welfare. Surajan Shrestha,ARC's President hosted the program in the presence of School Principle, Krishna Dutta Poudel and Chief-Guest, Dhurba Giri from Sapana Village Lodge. Dhurba Giri delivered the powerful speech with the idea to do a business with elephant without using them for safari or other abusive activities. He is the first private elephant owner to initiate chain free corral in private elephants.




Students were also shown video of conservation of endangered species via projector. After that, they were distributed prize according to their position. Altogether, 7 students were awarded.
Winners from Secondary Level (Class-7,Class-8, Class-9, Class-10)
First - Ashmita Giri
Second - Suman Bote
Third - Sujan Darai
Consolation - Sandesh Lama
Winners from Primary Level (Class-4, Class-5, Class-6)


First - Channu Ram Mahato
Second - Alisha Mahato
Third - Ashmita Tamang


Besides this, I also realized something that pinched me within : differences between the private school and govt schools or say so called rich and poor. if I had conducted such competition in a private school then, every student would have their palette, sketch book, brushes etc. they would have drawing classes with qualified teachers while the principle of the Malpur (govt school) said, 'Here students cant bring the notebooks as they can't afford them, it's unimaginable to expect the colors, brushes from them." It is really sad as many of them were really good, but they lack good instructor and materials. 
Pictures drawn by the kids:







Keeping that aside, the program was successful and I am grateful to USYC, YUWA, ARC and my friends cum volunteers.
http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2015/01/12/news/drawing-for-awareness-on-captive-elephants/271942.html

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