Monday, 30th October 2017

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A prompt a day to keep kids engaged

Over 200 schoolchildren have been drawing inspiration from lines from books or famous artwork as part of an online initiative

By Chandreyee Ghose in Calcutta
  • Published 16.04.20, 2:23 AM
  • Updated 16.04.20, 2:23 AM
  • a min read
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Sharanya Halder's painting of herself and her dog in a Covid-free world Telegraph picture

A girl and a dog sitting under the moon in a Covid-free world –— eight-year-old Sharanya Halder wanted to spread a message of hope and harmony through her artwork.

Over 200 schoolchildren from Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi have been drawing inspiration from lines from books or famous artwork as part of an online initiative to keep children engaged during the lockdown.

“Covid-19 and the lockdown had left my daughter upset. She kept asking me when she could go out and why people were dying. A creative task every morning kept her mind off such thoughts,” said Sharanya’s father, Souvik.

The Class IV student of The Akshar School now can’t wait to read Tove Jansson’s Tales from Moominvalley, a line from which — “He was the owner of the moonlight on the ground” — was her prompt.

“Schools closed down in March. We did not want children to spend time aimlessly at home. So, we started giving literary prompts to encourage kids to research and create something new every day,” said Ruchira Das, the founder of ThinkArts, which hosted the online initiative.

The entries ranged from poems to paintings.

Arhant Jain, 11, would wait for the prompt on the ThinkArts website every morning.

“I would keep checking right after breakfast. The lines prompted me to think differently. I love drawing but three prompts made me write poems. And I was not even a fan of poetry before,” said the Class VI student of St Xavier's Collegiate School.

"It was fun Googling about the books or about the artist whose artworks with my son," said Shruti, Arihant's mother.

His eight-year-old cousin Prakhar Jain made his first acrylic painting inspired by Claude Monet's The Water Lily Pond.