Raj Saini at work
Raj Saini at work
Raj Saini
Raj Saini

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Raj Saini, an artist from the city, has decided to conduct workshops in all the districts of state to provide a platform to children and young adults interested in painting.

The first workshop will be held at Narsinghpur from July 20. The participants will be divided into two groups - up to 16 years of age and above. The workshops will be of 10 days duration and depending on size of available space, the number of participants will be between 10 and 30. The workshop will be free of cost.

The younger participants will be introduced to basics of painting while for the older ones, the focus would be on skills to enable them to adopt painting as a career. "We will try to motivate children and tell them about scope for good painters in the country,” says Raj Saini

Saini plans to select the best three students from each district. That will make a total of 156 budding painters from 52 districts. He will further choose the best 10 among them and prepare them for national and international painting competitions.

Saini says he intends to preserve the heritage and culture of each district through workshops. "For instance, I will encourage children to paint historical monuments and places of importance in their district and to make portraits of famous personalities of their area, for instance, women freedom fighters," he said, adding that such paintings can also be displayed in local administrative offices.

Space for workshops will be provided by the local government authorities and NGOs will arrange paper sheets, colours, brushes etc.

He said he recently visited Narsinghpur where he discussed his idea with the district collector, other officials and prominent local residents. "The response was great. They welcomed the idea and immediately agreed to arrange everything. In fact, some 50 people have formed a club for the purpose," he said.

Saini, who retired as incharge of Modern Art Department of Jawahar Bal Bhawan, said that at his age (he is 64), it is time to give back to society. "Even after I am gone, I will continue to live in young painters whom I would groom," he said.

Saini, who hails from Damoh, said as a child, he had to struggle to pursue his hobby of painting. "My father flatly refused to spend money on paint and brushes. I started working when I was in class 4 to arrange money for my passion," he said.

He worked in an oil mill, made kites, bound books and even drew diagrams and pictures for college students to earn money. "I don’t want young talents to get discouraged and abandon their passion for want of proper training and guidance," he said.

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