Mukul Madhav Foundation (spearheaded by Mrs. Ritu Chhabria) along with Art India Foundation organised a unique 3 day Art Camp for the children to support the proposed school building of Vidya Jyoti School, a school for the slow learners. 100 children participated in this camp which was full of fun and learning. The art camp was conducted with assistance from Art India Foundation who have been conducting Art projects for children. Activities included clay work and pottery, drawing and painting, candle making, calligraphy and cartoon drawing. The works created by the children were put up on a special display and sale on Thursday 17th April 2008. The entire sale proceeds from this exhibition were donated to the proposed school building of Vidya Jyoti School, a school for slow learners.
The Art Camp for Children was not only meant for raising awareness and funds for this noble cause but also to make our children sensitive to the less privileged in the society and to instill in them a sense of caring and giving. The response from the children and the parents of the participating children was overwhelming and this will go a long way in helping projects like Vidya Jyoti School.
A surprise element for the Art Camp was when artists from Santiniketan who were in town for an exhibition at Indiaart Gallery came in and captivated the children with some fascinating demonstrations of painting and drawing. This led the children to unleash their creative and latent talent on paper. Other instructors who worked with the children included Mr. Kulkarni for pottery arranged by Shirish Chaudhary, Rajashree Rele for candle making, Sharmila Mangwani, Jyotika Motwani and Kimi Sheorey for paper craft, Dilip Patil, Rahul Patwardhan and Gopal for drawing and painting and Babu Udipi for calligraphy. The camp was made a success thanks to diligent work put up by volunteers who included Maneesha Shah, Riya Gupta, Reshma Shah, Anita Agarwal, Shefali Bajaj, Natasha Sethi, Nandita Kalmadi, Namita Thapar and Priya Madhok.
Dr. Mrs. Poornima Pandit who is spearheading Vidya Jyoti School project felt that such initiatives would ensure that the society develops empathy towards the special children and help them lead a life of dignity and self respect and not one which is based on sympathy from others. Dr. Pandit thanked all concerned for putting together this camp and added that once the proposed building comes up by March 2009, the school team will be in a position to take many more special children under its care. The current capacity of 100 students will be increased to 200. The focus at Vidya Jyoti will be on Vocational Training and 8 rooms are being earmarked for this purpose. The 4th floor of the school building will house vocational activities such as file making, screen printing, candle making, making paper bags and folders. Another important aspect of the proposed school building will be the creation of a sheltered workshop which will provide an opportunity to past students as well as others to work and earn out of it.