Sayantika Mondal at the workshop in Santiniketan
Sayantika Mondal walked all the way to school at Phoolbagan from her Tangra home every day till recently. Her mother still saves from the meagre household budget that her father can provide from a bicycle repair shop so that Sayantika can buy colours and drawing books to pursue her passion.
The Class VII student at Surah Kanya Vidyalaya, who received a special honour and The Captain B.N. Ghosh Memorial Scholarship at The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence 2012, went a stroke closer to her dream when she was invited to join Mallar II, an art workshop hosted by the Techno India Group in association with Santiniketan Society of Visual Art and Design (SSVAD) in Santiniketan.
The paintings collected from the workshop, inaugurated by Jogen Chowdhury, will be on display at an art gallery at the corporate office of Techno India at Sector V in Salt Lake.
“She was the only school student to attend the workshop that involved several senior artists. We thought the opportunity would encourage her,” said the managing director of Techno India group, Satyam Roy Chowdhury.
Sayantika, who has been drawing since she was in Class II, worked on two paintings of diverse moods at the workshop — a celebratory one depicting a tribal festival and a rather tragic one portraying the plight of flood victims.
“I painted tribal folk taking part in festivities and people caught in a flood situation,” said the 11-year-old, who had started off by copying pictures from textbooks.
Asked whether she wanted to be an artist, Sayantika said: “I love painting. I want to paint but I want to study too.” History is her favourite subject, she added.
The Techno India Group managing director promised to help with her education.
Sayantika’s parents are proud of her achievement. “She is a very determined girl. If she embarks on something, she makes sure she completes it. She never quits midway,” said Rina Mondal, Sayantika’s mother.
“I had never thought my daughter would get the opportunity to participate in a workshop in an eminent painter’s art institute in Santiniketan,” she added.