Sketching in Madrassas to women empowerment; Mumbai-based artist starts 'Missal Kashmir'
From taking colours and sketch books inside 'Madrassas' for encouraging children to channelise their creativity to motivating women to take up self-employment, Mumbai-based artist Rouble Nagi has started a programme 'Missal Kashmir', calling the Valley a ''land of infinite possibilities''.
Born into an army family in Jammu and a graduate from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, Nagi is a firm believer that colours can do wonders, especially for children. ''We should brush away the dull for brighter mornings and wider smiles,'' the artist said.
She along with her team has been travelling to remote places such as Watlab, Sangrama, Handwara, Langate and the rural belt of Pulwama educating children with arts and the language of paints while advocating women to generate employment for themselves.
Having 800 murals to her credit and having organised over 150 exhibitions, Nagi has also been focusing on the youth of Kashmir and believes that they need to navigate their lives with the vision of growth and positivity, stop following peers and politicians ''if you feel they are leading you towards a negative path''.
''Happiness is created by facing fears and overcoming doubt. Progress is hard earned and can only come from a purpose that is pure. Love and acceptance is always the path of least resistance, and it is high time everyone understood it,'' she said.
''This is not confined to the Watlab area only. Girls come from far off places and learn tailoring. Sometimes we give them work and sometimes they pick it up from outside the centre. At the end of the month, there is a sense of economic independence and that is a must,'' she said.
Nagi, who started her journey in March last year, said, ''I don't expect miracles instantly neither do I believe that change is possible overnight, it happens little by little. I see Kashmir has a land of infinite possibilities and unexplored talent. Youth today need individuality, integrity and individualism and stop living in fear and conformity''.
Asked about her visit to Madrassas (religious schools) in Pulwama in South Kashmir and Handwara in North Kashmir, she said the decision was impromptu. ''As I entered into such a madrassa of girls, I was surprised to see them enjoying the warmth of colours,'' Nagi said.
'Misaal Kashmir' is a village transformation project, where artists work to transform the community by tapping the local creative energy. The project is a part of the 'Misaal India' initiative launched in 2018, the programme was designed by Nagi and it benefited the less privileged people living in slums and villages across the country.
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