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Sanjhi- Improving student learning outcome through wall art

PIRAMAL FOUNDATION
February 08, 2019

Sanjhi is a rural immersion program for budding artists to understand the ecosystem of rural Rajasthan and get an opportunity to showcase their art. Initiated in June 2018, by Ganita, a Gandhi Fellow in Jhunjhunu, Sanjhi has organized three immersion programs for artists so far. The first two immersions were organised in village Gowala in July 2018 and village Narhar in August 2018. The most recent immersion happened in January 2019 in Sari village. Volunteers of Sanjhi have been creating magic through their art in the schools of rural Jhunjhunu for the past seven months.

Under project Sanjhi, 25 budding artists have come down to Jhunjhunu to paint school walls so far; More than 75 paintings have been made for 985 students. These are educational, motivational, cultural, comical, and relatable paintings; relatable to the children, teachers, and the community members.

Ganita is nurturing it every day to serve people from both rural and urban areas. She believes that it is a kind of Fellowship within the Gandhi Fellowship where the participants live with the community; understand the system and paint the walls of the school in the colors of the dreams of children.

“Counting the social media footprint of the people who have shared about Sanjhi, we have reached more than 25 thousand people online. This is the third Sanjhi immersion and I am glad to share that parents of the volunteers are also joining us for one or two days. On 4th of Jan one of the volunteers’ mothers came down to Jhunjhunu from Gurgaon and made a wall painting as well” shares Ganita. She adds “I am trying to connect the youth studying in universities with the ground reality while giving them an opportunity to explore their artistic instincts. We put in a lot of thought before making each painting; what value is it going to add in the life of the child who will look at it every day while coming to the school. The program is designed in such a way that along with wall painting the volunteers also get an opportunity to interact with the community members, children, and teachers. They understand the education system here and go back to their university campus and create discussion on the things they observe here. Their experiences in Sanjhi have become a huge part of their college canteen time discussions in the past six months. We never cut ties with our volunteers after the program ends. Everyone gets a certificate for attending Sanjhi and we stay in continuous contact with them for upcoming programs and feedback for improvement in next programs. Sanjhi has become a huge part of my fellowship journey.”

On seeing the efforts of artists from Sanjhi coming together to paint the walls for improving learning of school children, local youth from the Sari community was also inspired to join the Sanjhi team in beautifying the school walls. They came forward and supported the team during their last camp.

When asked about the way forward and sustainability of Sanjhi Ganita explains “Forms for the core team of Sanjhi shall be released on 20th of January. People who have participated in the previous camps can apply for the post. I plan on shortlisting four people for the core team. After registering Sanjhi as an NGO I will transfer the responsibilities of organizing upcoming Sanjhi camps to the core team. As my Fellowship is ending I will give them entry points to collaborate with the fellows/schools/and other educational institutions all over the country. This is how I see Sanjhi sustaining even after my fellowship is over.”

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