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Blind can see too (Article)
The blind may no longer have sight but they have a vision. And using their power of vision, Lalithha Das, a self-taught artist teaches painting to the blind students. Started almost a year ago, the students aged above 18 years of age learn painting at Lalithha’s residence in Banjara Hills.
After teaching yoga and meditation to blind students for years, Lalithha decided to teach painting. The main idea was to help them connect to their soul and motivate them to pursue this seemingly impossible task. Although her idea was initially mocked by the students, she finally persuaded them to believe that they could do it. She teaches them by defining emotions as colors. Anger means red, Peace is white, happiness or victory is green and comfort is golden yellow.
To assist them choose a color of the emotion they are going through, Lalithha smears the colored bottles with different kinds of smells—the fragrance of lemon around the yellow paint, jasmine around the white etc. This helps them recognize the colors too.
In the beginning she taught them by drawing the outline with the help of Braille language and they used to draw along that line but eventually she stopped it. Presently she is teaching them with poster colors using free hand.
The students, although cannot see their paintings are now encouraged and believe they can paint more. They are elated by this new found hobby that helps them vent their emotions.
They have used their art to make a living by designing greeting cards and selling them. Exhibition of their paintings have been hosted in the city and more exhibitions are lined up in the future. Lalithha adds “I hope to help them make more greeting cards and host more exhibitions. The proceeds from the sales will be invested in their future.”
To join the class or order greeting cards painting by the blind students email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Timings of the class, over weekends and their holidays: Morning 11 am to Evening 5 pm. There is no fee charged for these classes.
Insights into Tribal Life
Introduction: Have you ever thought how the tribal people live in the forests away from the urban hustle-bustle? The AP Tribal Museum showcases lives of various tribes in Andhra Pradesh through figurines and stories of their history and everyday lives.
Article: Tucked in a lane in Masab Tank, stands the Nehru Centenary Tribal Museum. The museum is a peek into the culture, lifestyle, customs and beliefs of the various tribes hailing from different districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Inaugurated in February 2003, the two-storied museum is filled with pictures and figurines of the practices of tribal people like collecting honey, cooking food with the earthern pots, the ‘dimsa’ dance, the panchayat etc. Some of the tribes represented here are Kondareddi, Bagata and Hill Reddi among 33 other tribal groups. (The tribes constitute 6.59 per cent of the population of Andhra Pradesh.) For better understanding of the lives of the tribal people, the museum also has a library and an audio visual room where one can study in detail the life of the tribal people.
The museum takes you through the various stages of development that the tribes have witnessed over years. Life-like figures at the tribal ‘haat’ or weekly market are captivating.
An exhibition of the different musical instruments made of wood speaks of the various traditional instruments that play a vital role in the tribal culture. Tribal masks, jewellery and household articles that are hand crafted show their skill in art and design as well. The tribal bazaar at the museum are held occasionally where the people from various tribes sell their hand-made crafts. Also, during these bazaars, cultural shows are organised and the tribal people perform dance or play the music that represents their culture.
The museum is open on all days from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee: For Indians/foreigners Rs. 10/ Rs. 100. Phone: 040-23391270 / 94909-57078. Web site: http://www.aptribes.gov.in. Location: Owaisi Nagar, Masab Tank.