At the Puttenahalli Lake on Sunday, 31st January 2016, twenty children aged between 7 and 12, got their hands dirty and their parents said not a word. Instead, they watched with pride as the kids unleashed their creative potential through the medium of clay. The occasion was an Eco-Art workshop conducted by Vicky Smith, a therapist from the UK to celebrate World Wetlands day on Feb. 2nd. Passionate about social and environmental justice, this nature lover is on a mission to promote awareness of the threat to the environment and climate change through such workshops for children.
Vicky wove a beautiful story around the miracles of the lake, the Banyan tree and a boy named Bhuvan who loves the Puttenahalli lake in his green city of Bangalore. Bhuvan once wakes up with a deep fear that his beloved lake is drying up and the fish are dying but people with scary faces are laughing and cheering at the plight of lake. Integrating the narrative with clay modelling, she distributed the clay among the children and helped them to make their own Ganesha idol, the saviour of the lake. This was followed by getting the kids to make a Scary face with clay. The excited children came up with a variety of interesting poses and designs.
After this, they tumbled out of the Gazebo, divided themselves into two groups and made two "lakes" and decorated them with miniature flora and fauna. One group even made an island in the middle of their lake and put a palm tree on it, a neat copy of the original!
At the end of the two hours, the children left for home carefully holding the precious Ganesha idol and scary face they had made themselves. What better way to celebrate a Sunday evening than by connecting with nature? By learning through fun to love lakes and take care of them?