Global Shapers Jammu Program Implementation and Monitoring Workshop conducted by JK Arts Foundation
A non-profit, JK Arts Foundation aims to make “Arts in Education” accessible to all children, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds. Despite the common perception that art is an unproductive pastime for the social elite, there are quite a few benefits to practicing art on a regular basis. These include stress reduction, development of problem-solving skills, cognitive development and the growth of human values like empathy and compassion. Art is a medium of facilitating holistic development of human beings, but its potential in India remains largely unutilized. JK Arts Foundation’s goal is to address this crucial gap by bringing art education to the doorstep of schools located across Jammu and Kashmir, especially those in far-flung areas of the Union Territory which are not usually able to avail the opportunities easily accessible to urban institutions.
The Global Shapers community is a worldwide group of energetic and inspiring young people under the age of thirty. A World Economic Forum initiative launched by WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab in 2011, the community’s mission is to facilitate the youth of the world to take an active leadership role in policy-making and decision-making processes and implement sustainable and meaningful changes. With its headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Global Shapers community has over 500 regional hubs distributed across over 150 countries where more than 10000 Shapers and Curators are working hard to create an inclusive, diverse, sustainable and solution-oriented future. The Jammu hub is a recent addition to the diverse array of Global Shapers hubs in India and has young and enthusiastic members eager to implement lasting positive change. Since both JK Arts Foundation and the Global Shapers community aim to work with young people to create lasting, positive changes in our communities, collaboration between the two is natural and a welcome step forward.
On 16 th March, 2023, Geeta Vaishnavi, the Founder of JK Arts Foundation, conducted a session with five members of Global Shapers Jammu hub. Jammu, known as the winter capital of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, is located on uneven ridges along the banks of the river Tawi and surrounded by the Shivalik and the Trikuta ranges. Home to a diverse population of Dogri, Punjabi and Hindi-language speakers, the city of Jammu is famed for the sheer number and brilliance of temples that are strewn across the cityscape and is known as the ‘city of temples’ along with Kashi. Founded by the semi-mythical king Jambulochan according to local tradition, the city of Jammu has functioned as the capital of multiple pre-modern and modern kingdoms, including the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Today, it is the administrative center of the Jammu division of the UT.
The session began with Geeta Vaishnavi introducing herself and JKAF. Then, she moved on to an ice-breaking session with the Shapers present in the workshop. Urmila Palwal, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate at the Foundation, introduced the attendees to the numerous programs offered by JKAF and the monitoring, implementation and evaluation processes involved.
The Global Shapers Jammu Hub members were enthusiastic to be a part of the workshop, given the significance of the inclusion of arts in education, especially in remote areas where such facilities are usually unavailable. The Shapers seemed optimistic about the collaboration and the prospect of implementing the programs offered by the Foundation on the ground. Hasit Sachdev, a Shaper who seemed delighted to attend the workshop, was reported to state, “Arts in Education should be an integral part of Education curriculum. We look forward to helping the foundation in their efforts”