By Garima Bakshi

Little Black Book, Delhi has been involved with NGO Ritinjali since last year. Apart from the wonderful work it does for underprivileged kids, what we love about Ritinjali is its focus and impetus on delivering good quality education, both vocational and formal, to students. In about 17 years, they’ve set up 13 educational centres in Delhi and nearby cities. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with a couple of them before, and this month we organized an Art & Crafts Workshop for the students at Kusumpur Pahari.

On the 2nd of August, team LBBD and a few of our readers met at 9.30 am near the Priya Market petrol pump. As we drove up the Pahari, we got perspective on just how many dimensions there are to Delhi. Kusumpur Pahari is a little village, and it looks just the way you’d imagine a village to look like- narrow, muddy lanes, small local shops, cattle and hens roaming freely and school children running about; and all this in the heart of Delhi. On reaching the learning centre, we took our footwear off and entered what seemed like a home.

We introduced ourselves to the children who were between 6 to 12 years old. For the workshop, we’d decided to stick to a few basics of art and craft making; We included things like coloured-paper painting, photoframe making and block printing. Our volunteers each took charge of 3 to 4 students each, and we got started!

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For the first activity, the students took bits of coloured paper and stuck them over pre-cut alphabets to form the work ‘RITINJALI’. As they chose their favourite colours, they began to get familiar with us, and soon the rooms were filled with the flashes of smiles and cameras. The word ‘RITINJALI’ was soon formed, and could now claim to have all the colours of the rainbow. We joined the letters together and made it a wall hanging.

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The next activity we had lined up was photo-frame making, and to the delight of the students, and us as well, this involved glitter, colour, ribbons, sparkles, and lots and lots of glue. The students took us by surprise; from painting clouds and stars to sticking mirrors and ribbons, the frames they created were terrific! But what was more pleasing was that most of them asked their respective volunteer to teach them how to write their names in English letters. This desire to want to learn more, and tie it in with what they’re usually taught in class was amazing to see.

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The last activity we had planned was block printing. We brought out the blocks in different shapes {peacocks, elephants, flowers, butterflies and more}, and if we thought things were getting sticky and messy before, we had no idea what was in store for us! The students gradually moved from dipping their favourite blocks in paint and pressing them onto chart paper, to thumb printing, and finally asking us to paint their palms so they could make handprints.

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It was time to wrap up now. The kids’ eyes lit up even more as they got chocolates, juice and fruits as goodies. As they bid us goodbye, we definitely felt like we were leaving a different room than the one we entered; there was sparkle not only all over the classrooms, but also on the faces of all the students.

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We’ll be going back soon, with something special planned for the students. If you’d like to join us, drop an email on contactus@lbb.in with the subject as ‘LBBD Volunteer’ and we’ll keep you up to date with our activities.

Spread the joy, Delhi!

<strong>About the Author | Garima Bakshi is a final year student at Kirori Mal College, and is currently interning at the LBBD HQ.