Welcome to the
LEAP ECO-ART EXHIBITION series
Whether you are a faith or other community organisation, share the eco-art that your community has created with love & respect for the environment!
Send your creation (drawing/painting, photograph, sculpture etc.) to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Series 1: Mind's Eye - Lord Ganesha, the Remover of Obtacles
Curatorial note by Dr Lakshmi Patil
Hindus have always lived a life of harmony with the ecosystem as we believe that the whole world is one family hence we need to respect and take care of each other, as all creations of mother nature.
We believe Atman (soul) is part of Brahman (creator). To meet the creator we need to respect every life and element that he created; at the end everything leads to him hence it's essential for us to take care of creations of God.
Human beings cannot survive without the right atmosphere/ weather around them hence they need to respect and take care of nature, to take care of themselves in turn.
What we call swarth (for self) and paramartha (for others) can both be achieved with one’s actions taking care of nature around us for our good health and well being, both as the possible and right thing to do. Vasanth Utsav and Ganesh Chaturthi are two occasions where children and parents came together to take care of nature in our own cultural tradition.
Vasanth Utsav (Spring Festival) is a small play which provided the platform to help kids understand how we might end up with no spring and unpleasant weather. After the play I could see enormous changes in behaviour of my kids, few examples are as below:
1. Less purchase of packet snacks
2. Use of cloth lunch bag and not wasting food so that we can share with others who are deprived of food
Vihan participated in Vasant Utsav and since then he uses non plastic and recycled stuff. The play has not just helped to understand global warming but also how we can come together to work as team in an e-play, improving coordination and patience.
Ganesha chaturthi (Eco-friendly Ganesha): Another one was clay modeling. We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in September where we made eco-friendly Ganesha murthi with clay .
Kids enjoyed the day. I could see all their imagination in the models - how one made a flying saucer for Lord Ganesha to fly in space, with a mouse (mooshak) as his vehicle .
One of the seven year olds made a Diya (traditional lamp) 🪔.
My daughter made a tortoise (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu). We can make clay models or dolls to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, for instance. When children make their own models it not just improves their knowledge, but also their reflexes and other sensations.
In southern India we have a tradition of using a display of clay dolls to tell stories which is a very good method for teaching kids. Over just one Ganesha making session, the kids’ imagination took them to space and discussions around UFO, astrophysics to natural colours and how they are made. During the session for example, Vihan asked questions on natural colors and how to extract them from beetroot and haldi (turmeric) for colouring Ganesha; this led to another level of discussion. We discussed that we could use beetroot to colour Ganesha’s lips and wondered what vegetables we could use for his eye brows. There was no end to their questions and imagination.
I would like to thank all parents and Dr Madhavi who always comes forward to host the Ganesha making day in her house, not just this year but every year.
Khel (games and sports) and baudhik (brain stimulating activities which help kids to think like plays, skits and discussion) help kids understand the foundation of human life so that they build their own healthy, clean future.
All parents have to now make an extra effort to teach kids the right way of life and to save Mother Nature for future generations.
It is nice to know that Lancaster City Council welcome and support ideas.
Dr Lakshmi Patil
Dr Lakshmi Patil, Lancaster