New Year cards by Bapu Dham girls a hit

Greet­ing cards with colour­ful mo­tifs have be­come pop­u­lar abroad too

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - EDUCATION - Eileen Singh eileen.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

■ CHANDI­GARH: Girls be­tween 14 and 18 years, liv­ing in Bapu Dham Colony, are ush­er­ing in the New Year by de­sign­ing greet­ing cards with colour­ful mo­tifs and sketches of Ma­hatma Gandhi.

These cards are be­com­ing pop­u­lar not only in the city, but also abroad, with US am­bas­sador to In­dia Peter Burleigh and un­der sec­re­tary for pub­lic di­plo­macy of US govern­ment Ann Stock gift­ing them to their rel­a­tives and friends.

City-based NGO Yu­vsatta started this ini­tia­tive of en­gag­ing the girls, who dropped out of school, to de­sign greet­ing

It feels great to share my knowl­edge with these girls who will

lead independent lives and then pass on their skills ANU­RADHA NGO mem­ber

cards and hand­made prod­ucts. The NGO is also tu­tor­ing the girls in sev­eral sub­jects.

“The aim is to make these girls independent and ed­u­cated,” Ashwani Ku­mar, project man­ager of the ini­tia­tive, Women’s Ini­tia­tive Hand­i­craft, said. “While the girls are ex­press­ing their cre­ativ­ity by mak­ing greet­ing cards, they are also be­ing taught sev­eral sub­jects af­ter work.”

At present the lo­cal li­brary, Kitab Ghar, serves as the work­place of these girls.

Anu­radha, who uses one name only, is train­ing these girls in the art of mak­ing greet­ing cards. She has been as­so­ci­ated with the NGO for seven years.

“It feels great to share my knowl­edge with these girls who will lead independent lives and pass on their skills,” Anu­radha said. “These girls will soon earn their first salary when clients send in their cheques.”

At present there are seven girls from the colony, who are part of the NGO’S ini­tia­tive.

The girls Ar­chana, Poonam, Renu, Rupi, Ruk­saar, Puja and Mamta, are busy mak­ing mo­tifs and draw­ing pic­tures of Ma­hatma Gandhi on the cards.

“I feel happy that our cards are be­ing ap­pre­ci­ated in the city, as well as other parts of the coun­try and even abroad,” said Ar­chana.

“Our cards show­case our cre­ativ­ity and bring smiles on the faces of those who re­ceive them as gifts,” said Ruk­saar.

Ashwani Ku­mar said he wanted to rope in lo­cal sex work­ers to be­come part of the ini­tia­tive. “The ob­jec­tive is to al­low them to dis­play their cre­ativ­ity, so that they can earn their liv­ing and leave their cur­rent job.”

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