by Syed Samreen
SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Education Initiative (KEI) organised a painting contest Hunnar 2021 in which students from grades ninth to twelfth took part. The participants were the ‘scholars’ who are getting some help from the KEI to pursue their studies.
Over two dozen students participated in the contest. The art supplies and other material related to the contest was provided to them by the organization.
“The whole motive of the series of competitions we’re going to hold is that children who have been choked for the past one year because of the pandemic should express what they’ve been feeling. Be it by means of art competitions, debates or anything creative,” said Aiman Nazir Banday, president of the Students Advisory Board, KEI. “The contests will help children will realise that art isn’t just a passion or a hobby, it can become someone’s profession.”
Judges, Rouf Qayasi, an artist by passion and a teacher by profession and Malik Kaisar, a graphic designer in the Delhi Public school, Srinagar, oversaw the competition. They helped every child with painting techniques and dimensions. The children were given painting-related advice by the judges so that they become even better in their endeavour.
“I’m extremely honoured to be a part of this programme,” Qayasi said. “The theme of the competition was given by me which is ‘Scent of Nature.’ I wanted children to draw freely keeping no constraints in mind and I’m happy to see all the scholars being given the opportunity to do so.”
“This kind of events should be repeated often because I can see how excited and eager children are to express themselves using colours,” Malik Kaisar said.
The KEI helps almost two hundred new scholars each year with a scholarship. In total, seven hundred scholars are enrolled with KEI for every academic year.
While one KEI board member was present, many of its members joined the occasion virtually via video meeting.
KEI was initiated in 2007 by non-resident Kashmiris. It focuses on scholarships, mentorship and capacity building of students. KEI picks the bright students who are at ‘risk’ and provides them with a supportive and leadership-oriented education environment that helps them bring about a positive change in their families and eventually in the community.