Gond Folk Art – beginner-level – workshop at Mahayan Ferozpora Baramulla

The thirty-one students aged 5-13 trudged through two feet of snow to reach the venue of the Gond Folk Art – beginner-level – workshop conducted by the JK Arts Foundation. For some of the students, it was a journey that took more than half an hour as the space for conducting the workshop was provided by one of the teachers (Zahid Munshi) of Government Middle School located at Mahayan Ferozpora of district Baramulla. The reason for not conducting the workshop at the said school was that it is located on the edge of a stream, which makes the place very cold as the wind keep coming off the water body and inside the classrooms.

Such was the enthusiasm for attending the workshop that the students who had received information about the same on their school WhatsApp groups showed up at the venue an hour before the start of the workshop. Some of them, braving the cold and snow, also volunteered to inform their other classmates, who lacked a smartphone, about the workshop. The cold weather didn’t seem to bother the students and their parents as they told the JK Arts Foundation team that "today’s workshop was too good to miss". The children and parents who lived nearby also visited the venue to witness the proceedings of the workshop. The parents requested the JK Arts Foundation team to organize an art workshop in their locality so that their children might benefit from it.

The teacher-in-charge Mr Zahid Munshi had made adequate heating arrangements for the students so that they feel warm and cozy in the cold weather. He expressed his gratitude to the JK Arts Foundation for sparking creativity among the students, “never seen before”.

“I have never seen so much enthusiasm for learning among the students, especially in the winter season when every child wants to stay home and not engage in learning activities as cold is an excuse for being inactive in winters,” he smilingly and satisfyingly told the JK Arts Foundation team.

As soon as the workshop started and the artist in the video started to teach the participants about the Gond Folk Art, beautiful smiles and exciting expressions plastered across childrens' faces. “Though for most of us it was the first attempt at creating artwork, we all loved the experience. We all enjoyed a lot,” said one of the student participants.

The JK Arts Foundation team informed the participants that their organization was founded on a strong mission and vision of inspiring and discovering the inner artist in every child. “The main aim of our art workshops is to enable children to discover their creative expressions, become confident and optimistic,” said JK Arts Foundation’s Tanveer Maqbool Lone.