The Telegraph
Thursday , November 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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On their day, children turn spotlight on books

- Chief minister inaugurates Suravi - 2012, Bakul Foundation organises wall-painting event

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 14: Kites soared high dotting the azure skies as a rocket zoomed past, causing a flutter. At a distance, angelic conjoined twin girls, surrounded by colourful butterflies, seemed unperturbed, their gaze fixed on a book. The note “Galaxy of words takes one higher than a bird” floated above them.

Such surrealistic images were conjured up as schoolchildren unleashed their creativity on mundane white walls on a Satya Nagar street with paintings and tags of urban graffiti here today.

Celebrating Children’s Day in a unique style, the sprightly young artists from 10 city schools used the scruffy, flaky walls as their canvas and created imposing frescos on the theme “Books give us wings”.

A signature from the young painters marked the final touch. By evening, the 40-feet long and eight-feet high wall had transformed into a kaleidoscope of swirling oil colours and thought-provoking concepts.

“It took us three hours to complete our part of the wall,” said Simran, a Class VIII student of St Xavier International.

“We had initially planned something else. But later, we started improvising since we were having fun,” said Simran’s classmate Sonali Adhikary, pointing at the message on the fresco: “If you can read, you can do anything”. Their teammates Manisha and Shreyashree nodded in agreement.

This marathon wall-painting event was the initiative of popular youth volunteer group Bakul Foundation. “The idea was to promote the fact that books empower us and contribute to our social, mental as well as spiritual growth,” said Sananda Satpathy, a volunteer.

She said the wall had been painted last in 2007. “But it had started peeling off and we whitewashed it. We invited school kids to express their ideas on the importance of books in our lives,” she said.

The organisers said each of the paintings would be clicked and designed into a calendar and some greeting cards, which will later be distributed among the participating schools. “We would also sell some of the cards and calendars to raise donations,” said another volunteer.

Suravi — 2012, the annual state-level children’s festival, also kicked off at the Unit-IX Boys’ High School here today. Around 600 students, along with their teachers from primary and secondary schools, are taking part in the event, which is being organised by the state school and mass education department. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the children’s festival.