Buy one of Sowmya’s lovely paintings and contribute to the cause of building a classroom for Isha Vidhya
It has been fun curating this Colours Issue. We’ve had the chance to meet some wonderfully talented people- learnt more about the colours of Spiti and Skye, revelled in books with colourful names and those that bring a much needed diversity to our children’s bookshelves, and talked to the genius who adds brightness to some of our favourite films.
To cap the issue, we speak to Sowmya Ram, a regular My Big Red Bag reader who is utilising her gift for putting colours together in a special way. All the funds she generates from selling her paintings will contribute towards the costs of building a classroom for her favourite charity. We’d love for our readers to help make her dreams come true!
Sowmya is a young working mother with a passion for art. She has been sketching since childhood and worked on multiple mediums ranging from pen and paper to Indian Ink, to water colours and Acrylic. But her favourite remains oil (even though she was introduced to it only on her 24th birthday!). She loves how it takes forever to dry, giving her an opportunity to keep adding layer upon layer, experimenting with multiple colour mixtures, to create an overall vibrant image!
We asked Sowmya how she balances the rest of her life with her painting and she said that she works in spurts. She occasionally has a marathon painting session, and is known to have painted at a stretch for three days once with small sleep breaks. Once she starts a painting she can’t let go until its finished. But with more responsibilities at work and home, she has to struggle to find time for these sessions. As she put it “What I love about painting is not having any goals for it. I paint aimlessly and that kind of brings out the best in me. As a new working mother, my current challenge is to organize my life so that I still find time to pursue my passion of painting.”
Interestingly, Sowmya has no formal training or education in Art, and would like nothing more than to travel across the world and learn from the works of the Masters some day.
About Isha Vidhya
Isha Vidhya is committed to raising the level of education and literacy in rural India, and to help disadvantaged children realise their full potential. What is most interesting about their schools is that they emphasise experiential and holistic learning, giving their students (typically children of day labourers), all the advantages that education can provide.
The Isha Vidhya schools distinguish themselves by
Offering affordable, high-quality education in rural areas
Taking education beyond literacy and rudimentary skills
Empowering rural children to participate globally
Actively promoting education of female children
Increasing educational awareness in rural societies
Preserving village identities and culture
Sowmya has been associated with the charity since 2007. She has worked first hand with them, not only sponsoring scholarships but also developing worksheets, evaluating the effectiveness of their curriculum, collecting books for their libraries and inviting organisations to include the school as part of their CSR programs. In the past, she and her husband have been able to generates CSR grants worth $25,000 with their efforts.
Now she is selling her art to help raise money to build a new classroom for their school in Erode, Tamil Nadu
How You Can Help
Sowmya is on a mission to build a new classroom for the students of Isha Vidhya. And here’s how you can help:
Take a look at the paintings available for sale at this link (some of our favourite ones accompany this article), and choose the one you like. You will also find information about the sizes and prices there.
Reserve the painting with Sowmya through the link or by mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to http://www.giveisha.org/build-a-classroom and donate the amount equivalent to the price of your painting
Let Sowmya know and she will ship the painting to you wherever you are at no additional cost!