Have your ever approached painting as a destresser rather than something to be judged for its beauty? Have you ever felt low self-esteem for not having finesse in art? The student-run Arts Club at the English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad, provides a platform to unleash the artistry of those unsung Michelangelos and Salvador Dalis in the student community. As part of the World Mental Health Day, 2019, the Arts club organised “Let Go with Painting”, a mass painting event where students were provided with colours and charts to draw whatever came to their mind and thus find a vent for imagination and emotion.
More than 60 students sat down with crayons, pastels, tempera and poster colours on the ground floor of the New Academic Block on Saturday evening giving tinges and shades to their creativity.
Prof. Anjali Bagde, the Head of the French department who doubles up as the coordinator of the Arts Club, also brought colours and participated in the event along with the students. The event resembled the last scene in the Aamir Khan-starrer 'Taare Zameen Par' in which teachers and students of a school are shown drawing pictures together.
Ashlin Paul, one of the organisers said, they were overwhelmed by the positive response from the students. “Mental health is as important as physical health. Immersing oneself in the world of colours and painting together would relieve the anxiety of students who are enmeshed in midsemester exam stress," she added.
“Mass painting was a complete stress-buster. It took me to a world of freedom of imagination and I thoroughly enjoyed being myself again. It served the true purpose of mental health awarness," said Rishika Singh of MA Comparative Literature.
“I can hardly call myself an artist but I absolutely love colours. And a space like this gave me the perfect opportunity to just sit and dabble in colours, with amazing company and music. I loved it," added Rain of BA English.
The World Mental Health Day is marked on October 10 every year to educate and raise awareness about this issue. This year's theme was suicide prevention and it focused on mobilising and encouraging open conversations against the social stigma surrounding mental illness.
The organisers played soothing music during the event, gave thank-you notes and free hugs at the end to all those who had turned up.