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Top Indian NGOs that are making a difference using Art

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Art has the power to heal and change lives forever. The impact Art makes is not just measured by the amount, the artwork got sold for or auctioned at, but rather how many lives it touches, how many thoughts it generates and how many lives it impacts. Art is not just about the beautiful things around us, It is about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are changed.

"Art is when a human tells another human what it is to be a human."

- Adrian Elmer

When we share our art skills with others, we ourselves are bound to grow and learn. Several have realised this and started with art workshops and academies, but only a handful made it possible to reach the underprivileged sections and add colour to life.

Check this list of NGOs that are using art as a medium to change lives and create a difference.

Based in Mumbai, this is an initiative started by two friends, Chhavi Khandelwal and Manasi Mehan, which promotes a formally structured art-based curriculum that focuses on social and emotional learning, life skill development and character strengthening among children in government, low-income aided schools, after school programs and shelters. They have impacted more than 5500+ students and engaged with 1000+ volunteers that led to the creation of 4758322+ artworks.

Aravani Art Project is a Women and Trans-Women art collective which involves a collaborative Public art/ wall art project to raise voice and awareness of the friendship between Trans-women and Women in public spaces. Through creative collaborations they are gently reshaping the politics of inclusion and exclusion that surround gender identities. They have done wall art projects across major cities in India and have changed the way artists are perceived.

A non-profit organisation based in Mumbai that aims to make slums self-sustainable through slum tourism, Chal Rang De aims to empower the slum villagers. They started their mission by renovating the exteriors of the slums, making walls Instagram-worthy so as to attract people to click pictures. Started by Dedeepya Reddy they've engaged more than 5000+ volunteers till date and continue to paint bright canvas through which we can walk.

A non-governmental organization established in 2015. With a passion to nurture emotional wellbeing, they've designed and structured sessions based on Expressive Arts Therapy. This is founded by Kamalika Guha Thakurta, a celebrated actor and dancer, decided to explore and leverage the therapeutic aspect of all art forms. She wanted to help the Cancer patients from lower income backgrounds whom she met at Tata Memorial Hospital and with that thought, she started the Care for Cancer program. With a mix of dance, music and fine-art they heal people.

Himanshu S. a JJ School Of Arts graduate was joined by Aqui Thami to start Dharavi Art Room to educate and empower the kids and women of the infamous Mumbai slum, Dharavi. Learning to express through the medium of art has changed the perception of life for people here. It gives women a platform where they have more to do and discuss than just household work. It involves the local community to bring about a change in lifestyle by teaching and enabling through art projects.

As Aristotle said, "The aim of Art is not to represent outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." To empower and create a difference through Art is in our hands, only if we decide to take any steps for it. Remember, with art you can empower not just yourself but the whole community; strive to do that.

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