“Once when I went to my village, I saw that in one family the mother and father were constantly fighting and the son was watching them. When the son was asked who he wanted to live with, he replied, " I want to live with my father." The boy's mother was very sad when she heard this. I saw this incident every day, and during that time I looked at the flowers very closely. That is why I created this family by connecting them with flowers.”, says Sanu, a class 4 student at Government Primary School, Naria, Varanasi.
Our surroundings provide a personal encounter with nature and living organisms such as plants and animals. These interactions with nature combined with social and emotional skills are connected with the development of children’s attitudes, values, beliefs, and self-perceptions. Through our Let’s Start Art sessions we have noticed that personal encounters of students with plants and animals or our environment, in general, are usually associated with positive emotions and connotations.
"I depicted trees in my drawing because they give us oxygen and wood, we use the wood to cook food, and to light a fire in Winters to keep us warm. These trees need water to live, so my brother gives them water, and my younger sister feeds the birds on one side with bread", says Khushi, a class 4 student at Government Primary School, Aditya Nagar, Varanasi.
The second set of Let's Start Art sessions was conducted on the theme "Plants and Animals are our friends." which is taken from the chapter “Our Surroundings” syllabus of Government Primary Schools. Approximately 450 students from 20 schools attended these art sessions.
The sessions were conducted by Harshita Gupta, Kavita Kumari, Moni Gupta, and Neelam Gupta, Radha Gupta, and Chandan Yadav. We conducted 20 sessions in 20 Government Primary Schools at Bhadaini, Nagwa, Orderly bazaar, Naria, Sonarpura, Sunderpur 1, Sunderpur 2, Nayi Sadak, Durgakund 1, Durgakund 2, Lolark Kund, Kodai Chowki, Gurudham, Beniya Bagh, Chittupur 1, Chittupur 2, Lahartara, Kabirnagar, Aditya Nagar, and Bhikharipur.