Thirty-five-year-old government higher primary school located in Shivanagara and Siddakatte now stands colorful as its alumni covered its old walls with creative paintings. A group of alumni led by Avinash Badyar came together to give their school a new makeover. Avinash is a civil engineer by profession but is extremely talented when it comes to the arts. When paying a visit to their old school, many noticed how the school walls were looking dull and old. As it was a place that housed their most precious memories, they decided to take the renovating into their own hands. It had so happened that, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, some members had enough and more time to come to the school and to undertake such a huge task. Painting the walls started in the month of September and ended in October.
More than just restoring the school, they were also creating new memories associated with the school just like they did many many years ago when they were students rushing through the corridors during breaks between classes. Speaking about the importance of schools, Avinash talked about how it’s the schools that help children imbibe good values and plentiful knowledge. Therefore, if the schools are made beautiful, the village will, in turn, be beautiful. Furthermore, it is in the hands of the alumni along with the villagers to ensure that the schools remain beautiful and provide a conducive environment for studying.
Avinash also touched upon the importance of reminding students of their Indian roots in this globalized world where everyone seems to be pursuing a western way of life. He talked about the importance of helping children never forget their roots and their ‘Indian-ness’. This wish of the alumni has been reflected in their beautiful paintings on the school walls. They are of the strong opinion that even if the number of students attending school is less or more, they must do their part in providing them with good infrastructure and an environment that will boost their studies and potentialities.
In bleak times such as these, when humans are walking around wearing shields in the forms of masks, locking themselves within the four walls of their homes, all in fear of a seemingly invisible virus that is lurking around outside, school children have experienced a drastic change in their lives. Being forced to sit at home, forbidden to play outside, forbidden to socialize with friends, peers, and age mates, adversely affect the child’s mental health. However, Avinash and his friends’ paintings add a little color to their lives bringing some sunshine and a rainbow to their bleak life. Therefore, this venture is extremely important not just to the alumni but to the students as well.
Avinash also mentioned how several alumni who now live abroad have lent a helping hand by donating generous amounts for the same. The artwork by the team has drawn its inspiration from Indian culture, education, and sports and is in the Warli art form.