The first day of Kala Ghoda belonged to the art installations and events specially designed for children.
A large number of people with their professional cameras enjoyed taking multiple pictures of around 80 art installations that were put up to capture the topical mood of the country. The workshops for children, on the other hand, gave them an opportunity for interactive learning.
The installations focused on various issues that have hogged headlines and the mindspace of its citizenry. From rape, corruption, environment concern, re-looking the education system, interactive installations, to those reflecting brand-conscious society dissolving its individual identity were some of them that found ample room in the festival.
Held from February 2 to 10, the festival gave a more spaced out feel due to added venues, said visitors.
“Since we have managed to add four to five more locations, the festival is more spaced out and people can take a better view at the installations. We thought of having more installations as people like to relate to visuals more. The idea to have a workshop for kids was to get into them the idea of learning,” said Brinda Miller of the Kala Ghoda Association.
“The installations are not just colourful, but also very catchy. What I liked about it was that some of them induce fresh ideas at the way we conduct our routine life,” said Poonam Mantri, 45-year-old industrialist.
She was referring to the installation, Asantulit Vikas, which was prepared by the children of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run schools along with the Teach for India.
“It is so true that our education system only focuses on developing our logic and reasoning. Arts, music and activities are taken up through default or pass time,” said Anand Doshi, 51-year-old CA, who had come with his wife and friends.
Rape, abortion and other social evils were highlighted through an installation, ‘Shelter Tree’, that had many apathetic eyes instead of leaves.
“I just pledged that I would not be a mute spectator to any harassment or social evil by taking off the eye and putting a green leaf,” said Kanupriya Pathak.
Visitors appreciate the fact that the festival did not leave out the sad part of life.
“I quite liked the fact that there are some people still aware of the sad issues of life. The Doll House installation focused on the sad parts of life,” said Anjali Gangolly, a professor.
In the kids' section, parents came particularly for the programmes held. “I quite liked the Booker play. This is the first time they had something like that. We hardly have opportunities that contribute to the literacy of children through plays,” said Jehanzeb Madraswala, who had come with her son Kumail.
NGOs who work with children from lower income private schools and BMC-run schools brought them in large numbers. “We always get them to all the festivals. It helps these children express better. Out here they also discuss issues that are being debated in the country,” said Dipti Balwani, from Teach for India, which had got around eight children from civic schools.