news Sunday, June 07, 2015 - 05:30
For nearly two weeks, unmindful of the sun or heat, these children stood on the roads of their city and did what they love, and are now planning more. Under the guidance of their art teacher, a group of 15 children beautified the dirty walls of Fort Kochi, the heritage capital of Ernakulam through beautiful drawings and paintings.   Passing by the Amaravati Government Upper Primary School one day, Sanjay Kumar noticed that the compound wall was dirtier than a public toilet. That’s when he decided to do something about it. “The wall was so dirty, I felt bad that it was a place where small kids study. Then we decided to paint it,” says Sanjay.   Putting the idea across to his students who come to his house to learn art, Sanjay found that the children were very enthusiastic about it. In the first week of May, the 15-member group decided to clean up the area, and with the permission of the school authorities, painted the walls of the school with scenes of organic farming.   Initially, Sanjay himself met the expenses for the paintings and later students said they wanted to contribute. In all, the expenses came up to Rs 5000 as the children used enamel paint which lasts longer.   When appreciation poured in for their work, Sanjay says they were encouraged to do more. “Everyone appreciated us so we were confident. Then we selected a street nearby where the walls were dirty, and decided to paint with the beauty of Fort Kochi as the theme,” he says. Once more, they sought permission and began their work. For the next 10 days, they painted away – usually in the morning and then after 3 pm and splashed the street with their colours.   “This is just an initiation; my aim is to cover all the street walls so that people no longer feel like peeing or spitting on it. Unwanted posters and notices in the walls also spoils the beauty of the city. Fort Kochi is so beautiful and culturally rich. It is our duty to protect the image of the city,” Sanjay says. But more than just painting, for Sanjay it was important that they use their art for society. “They should know how they can support their society with their talents,” he said.  
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