The world has been in a complete shut since February this year and the new normal of working and exercising the day to day activities remotely from our homes, away from the public or any kind of gatherings is expected to last for some time as scientists work round the clock to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 disease. In the current state of affairs, the worst affected are the children who have been snatched of their routine, their daily engagements with their friends, teachers, and loved ones and including all outside activities. The support that a child for child extends in a community has all but lost in the lockdown.
The restrictions imposed in engaging in any events or activities requiring a gathering of people and maintaining the necessary physical distance have been difficult even for adults to practice and the kids face a rare kind of difficulty which neither the current generation of adults or the generation before them have to face. The restrictions imposed on children has started showing up in them in the form of extreme aggression and frustration as they lack the means of channelizing their energy into sports and education.
Helping children and their parents by educating them in ways to keep children engaged and encouraged in realizing their nonacademic potential, Smile Foundation through its Child for Child Program has reached to these children and parents to engage children in art and unleash their creativity in an effort to keep them busy & engaged productively & progressively.
Continuing the same, Child for Child in cooperation with Debjani Mukherjee organized “Online Stop Motion Animation Workshop”, where a number of like-minded artists, filmmakers, children, and youth film festivals, associations and more from across the world came together for interactive sessions, live chats, film online film screening and more to break the monotony and frustration of the lockdown in children.
Targetting the age group of children above 7 years of age, a mandala competition was organized on June 07, 2020, where children from all across the country could participate and bring out their bright and creative side.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word for “magic circle”. Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never-ending. This is an art form that interests people across all age groups. Creating this piece of art using organic materials like pulses, cereals, pebbles & flowers makes it look even more beautiful.
It’s a technique in animation used to bring static objects to life on screen. This is done by moving the object in increments while filming a frame per increment. When all the frames are played in sequence it shows movement.
The workshop entailed children to use organic materials from the kitchen & their gardens to make a Mandala piece of art. Then with the help of an easily downloadable App for Stop motion animation, they can make animated videos of their piece of art on their smartphone or their tablet or laptop. The response received for this competition was overwhelming with hundreds of children from across the country taking part in the campaign.
In a time of crisis and isolation, art and literature set free an individual to reach into the depths of their mind and bring out the creativity that is dormant inside them. Children can learn a lot from art and the same also helps in advancing their emotional quotient and the give a lift to the elements of empathy as well as sensitivity in children. It also acts as a great pacifier and a tool to invest the plethora of restrained energy into something meaningful, engaging, and educating.
This campaign is one among the many that Smile Foundation under Child for Child conducted over the past three months of lockdown in the country. With an aim to encourage children to grow aesthetically instead of staying hooked to television or mobile phones all day long, art and similar creative activities can bring out in children a realization of their view of the world