Kolkata, 14th November 2015: The mellow mid-November Kolkata afternoon witnessed splash of colours at the Victoria Memorial campus, near the light and sound area, where eminent artist Hiran Mitra, accompanied by several children coming from Rajabajar slums, painted a huge canvass and celebrated the eternal colours of childhood. At the sun-set, the canvass-painting session was followed by another unique event, a first-ever in Kolkata, where a series of photographs depicting the trials and triumphs of childhood were projected on the beloved monument of the city. It was, as if, the fairy atop the dome of the 100 year old architecture, Kolkata’s own version of the legendary Happy Prince, took a time out and climbed down all the way to tell the age-old story of underprivileged urban childhood. Photographs clicked by young volunteers of CRY were also exhibited in the event.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, CRY – Child Rights and You, in partnership with the Victoria Memorial Hall organized the event, which was a part of CRY’s larger campaign called ‘Give Healthy, Get Healthy’.
The theme of the event focused on the importance of proper nutrition, healthcare and education for children within 1-6 years, as this age-group is very crucial for their growth and set the foundation for rest of their lives.
Elaborating the perspective, Puja Marwaha CEO CRY said, “There are 138 million children in India, between the age group of 1 – 6 years. They deserve special care in the first few years of their lives. The lack of adequate care at this stage can result in permanent damage to the child’s development which affects not only her present but her future as well. However, the reality is that many children today do not get this healthy start to life. Lack of access to service, insufficient care for mothers, little awareness and sensitization – all leads to many children missing out on the crucial care and attention needed in this phase for life and the result is too frightening to comprehend.”
Atindra Nath Das, regional Director CRY East said, “The only way to ensure that there are far reaching changes in the lives of these children is to mobilize people from different walks of life to take action and support this cause.”
“We do believe that initiatives of this kind will bring in more awareness in the civil society, and will go a long way to make the world a better place for our children,” he added.
Welcoming the event, Jayanta Sengupta, Secretary and Curator of the Victoria Memorial said, “We joined hands with CRY for this campaign because we are committed advocates of children’s rights, not only as regular citizens, but as museum professionals, because children lie at the centre of any museum’s activities, and because our routine celebrations of the Children’s Day carries no meaning if what we do does not enhance the quality of lives lived by the children around us.”
Hiran Mitra, the painter said, “Activities that involve art and colour, especially with children, always give me a positive feeling and a great surge of energy. Being able to take part in such a colourful event on the occasion of children’s day is indeed very special to me, and I wish the event all success. Hope this brightens up lives of children just like today’s evening.”