HYDERABAD: If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children, quoted Mahatma Gandhi but hope is a luxury that the street children cannot afford.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, a 100 paintings depicting child labour were exhibited on the gates of NTR Gardens in the city on Friday. The exhibition is the brainchild of city-based artist, Chitra, a victim of child labour himself and his partner, Chari PS. His paintings depict the outcome of his struggles with each depicting its own story.
While most of us think child labour is a thing of the past and choose to turn a blind eye to the many instances we often see on the road, in tea stalls, small shops, the social evil still exists which is what the artist has brought to the fore.
“These paintings depict my experiences as a child labour. No one has ever helped me and I know what that pain is like. Thus, I am working towards a social cause to spread awareness among people. This is my sixth exhibition; I chose to showcase my work on the road because I want the common man to see my paintings and understand how we are ignoring a global plague of child labour,” says Chitra who doesn’t have any formal training in art and is completely self-learnt from his stint as an illustrator at a vernacular newspaper.
Speaking on the occasion, Chari PS, the co-partner of the exhibition says, “I used to work in galleries on the subject of Telangana but when I saw his paintings, I had an urge to do my bit. Through my creativity, I want to bring a positive change in the attitude of the people towards street children.”
As one walks through the stretch of the NTR Gardens, one sees quotes like generations of potential wasted on drudgery, burden of society’s failure on our limp shoulders, give me books; not bricks that accompany the paintings.
The two-day exhibition has gained lot of momentum among the passers by. “It is our humble gesture to realise our responsibility towards liberating child labour. I will do my bit to inspire people,” added Chitra.