HYDERABAD: Should artists be socially responsible? — is one question that has been doing the rounds in various circles for quite some time now. However, while observing the life of Prashanth Kumar Bonagiri, an animation designer-turned-miniature artist, one can easily say that artists too can do their bit by lending a helping hand to those in distress.
A philanthropist just like his father, Prashanth Kumar spends his hard-earned money for the education of needy children. Without taking into consideration his own financial growth, Prashanth Kumar uses the money he earns by selling artworks carved on pencil leads, for the welfare of children who don’t have a proper support system.
Inspired by his father Bonagiri Krishnamurthy’s charitable work, Prashanth Kumar started reaching out to students in various parts of the city a few years back. The 27-year-old hailing from Kumrambheem-Asifabad district, grew up watching his father, who used to run a Kirana store, help people in distress.
After completing education, he moved to the city in search of a job and meanwhile, learnt pencil and miniature arts. After gaining expertise, he started making artworks.
In the meantime, he realised that there were several children around him in dire need of help to continue their education. That is when he decided to use his talent as a weapon to serve the needy.
“Initially I used to get only small amounts for my works, which I used to buy books and other materials for children. On learning about my works, several people started placing orders and soon, I was able to earn well and hence, support more children,” says Prashanth who recently made a miniature sculpture of Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on pencil and is planning to present it to her soon.
“ She is an inspiration to many. This is my way of expressing gratitude to her,” an enthusiastic Prashanth adds. At present, he gets over 20 orders every month. “I go to work during daytime and then, after returning, work on miniature arts. It takes seven hours to complete a work” he points out.
In a bid to ensure that the children don’t stop their education halfway through, Prashanth makes their parents sign an agreement in this regard. He had also planned to set up clean water tanks at various government schools, but due to the pandemic, the initiative was postponed.