CHADOORA A weeklong art workshop commenced at Khyber Public School, Repora Chadoora on Wednesday.
The workshop conducted by a Delhi based photojournalist, Namisha Raj in association with Camlin and Kashmir Observer, is part of a series being held in schools in remote areas of the state.
The workshop includes activities like painting, theatre, music and other creative works.
It is a unique effort to allow students and young minds to put forth their opinions and ideas, said Namisha Raj, the mind behind the concept. She believes that art is the best medium to allow children to communicate.
It is very unfortunate that Kashmiri schools dont include creative arts in the curriculum. Art isnt just restricted to painting and drawing random stuff. It is a form of expression and an outlet for the mind which is what makes it even more important in a conflict zone because kids here are in a constant struggle to find an outlet for their feelings says Namisha.
The teachers at Khyber Public School believe that the workshop will help boost the confidence of their students.
Activities like these make the kids love studying. They also give us a peek into what the kids are thinking and what is important to them, says Mahi Fatima, a teacher in the school.
The primary school which works on the unique concept of not giving any homework to its students and introducing the play way method of teaching is the first school to conduct such workshops in the area. The chairman and founder of the school, Shahnawaz Sultan believes that such activities are important for the overall development of the children.
I want our children to excel in every field. Running a school in a remote area comes with its own set of problems but I want to eliminate the concept that rural students lack exposure thus find it difficult to succeed in life.
Children who seemed all too excited to paint and draw couldnt express their happiness in words.
I love coming to the school every day because I get to try new things today, says Seerat Jan, a K.G student.
Namishas associates, Yash Mukand, who conducts workshops on child sex abuse and Raunak Ali, a theatre artist from downtown Srinagar believe that it is time creative arts was introduced as a subject in schools.
In Kashmir, we have very few people who can guide kids towards the right direction at the right time. We are trying to change that with these workshops, says Raunak.
The governments lack lustre attitude towards such activities is really a shame. They should be encouraging such activities instead all they seem to care about are proposals and budgets, says Yash.
“The workshop is the first of a series of workshops being conducted in various schools all over the valley. It is an effort to develop creativity among children and allow them to give shape to their ideas”, said Namisha.