After sell-out successes over three consecutive years, established Bay Area nonprofit organization Induz will present  “Valentine Masti 2011.” Induz has the whole family in mind for the event, providing couples and family games, a children’s activity area, and boasting performances from leading Bay Area singers Manohar Bijor and “SaReGaMaPa” TV show contestant Ishmeet Narula, and local dance companies. The event will celebrate love and raise awareness and contributions for Induz’s long-standing Tulika program that provide safe learning environments for underprivileged children in India to explore their creativity through art.

a5e1b9585018cf9ce023f49af6fa1482-2Since its inception in 2004, Induz has provided instruction and materials to children in various artforms including music, dance, drawing, and painting. The Tulika program—the name of which derives from the Sanskrit toolika, literally meaning the old-fashioned feather quill—symbolizes Induz’s grass-roots, community approach to connecting people and culture around the world through art. The spirit of Induz’s guiding principle in providing a place for  socially and economically disadvantaged children to create, explore, and learn is captured in its guiding mantra, “where art meets heart.”

Induz has established three drawing schools in Assam, Bangalore and the Biswabandhu Mission orphanage in Katwa, a remote village in west Bengal. Induz’s first project was launched in June 2008 in the rural town of Silghat, Assam.

Once a burgeoning city of commerce, devastating floods left Silghat impoverished. Through providing weekly lessons in fine arts, music, and dance to 40 children, the Tulika project has not only enriched the lives of many individuals, but has also ignited communal hope, inspiring the community to rebuild its city.

Ray Mitra, president of Induz, visited Induz’s art program in Silgat recently. “The Tulika project has helped low income families to provide free art, music, and dance classes,” he says. “We also provide a healthy snack to the kids. More and more families want to enrol their kids in the program.”

A second project launched in August 2009, provides art education for 30 children housed in the Santosh Orphanage. The children have been involved in pottery, painting, and have formed a music band—all experiences which would have been otherwise inaccessible to them.

a5e1b9585018cf9ce023f49af6fa1482-3Induz’s most recent Tulika project has been in operation since June 2010. Over 60 children in the Biswabandhu Mission are from social and economically challenged minority groups. Research has linked art education to improved academic performance and students from the mission have achieved outstanding results since the program was introduced. K. Prashant placed second in the National Instruments Art and Painting competition. Another student attesting to the overall improvement in standards of main studies is Dichu, an 8th grade student from Santosh, who ranked 11th in the Statewide Mathematics Talent competition.

Mitra reflects on the program’s success, “During my trip last year to the children’s home, I met with the children and Dr. Biswanath Bala (the onsite supervisor) and realized how much an art program could benefit them. I am glad that the Induz team could make it happen.”

Mitra has witnessed the continuing decline of funding and support for art education in both developing countries and the United States. He says, “Art and music programs have been drastically cut from Bay Area schools. Induz is working to provide after-school art programs to children in low income schools so as to be able to supplement the loss of regular art programs.”

Funds raised from Valentine Masti 2011 will contribute to existing programs in India and toward fulfilling Induz’s goal to launch new programs in the Bay Area.

The nonprofit implores local residents interested in art as a way of bringing diverse communities and cultures together to volunteer with Induz and/or support its mission and work.

Saturday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. Chandani Restaurant, 5748 Mowry School Road, Newark. $35 general; $25 children, ages 5 and up; children under 5 free. Tickets: tickets@sulekha.com; or (510) 875-5006,  (510) 449-8530, (925) 858-4540. info@induz.org. www.induz.org.

 

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