At Sharana’s centre for street and slum children, we always try to give access to our children several creative outlets of energy and art forms such as Art Therapy through mediums such as Painting and Dance.

In this day, where most music and dance consists of Film music, often cheap movements and mediocrity, we at Sharana try to invite volunteers and resource people who can give our children a taste and training of our artistic cultural heritage.

The sweltering heat did not deter Ms. Sumati, classical Bharatnatyam dancer and alumni of SAICE Puducherry, from teaching Bharatnatyam for an hour a day at the Gayatri House centre for street and slum children to a group of about 40 enthusiastic children. The group consisted of about 12 boys, whereas the rest were girls. The average age was 10-14 years, but kids are young as 6 years old opted to learn this traditional South Indian Classical danse form.

Ms Sumati herself is a graceful and seasoned dancer with a perfect style and beautiful body and face expressions.

She has been coming everyday for the past 6 weeks, and will continue classes everyday till schools reopen. She says regular practice is essential for improvement and memory, and to uphold sustained interest in the children. To continue this sustained progress, Ms. Sumati has promised us to continue teaching our students 3 times a week in the evening even after the schools resume. A book-reading session will follow her Bharatnatyam sessions on those evenings at Sharana’s Homework Help Centre. Perhaps in a few months we could even put up a performance by the children!

It is also our hope and belief that our programs will grow in quality with the support of long-term Indian volunteers like Ms Sumati, who take some time in their everyday schedule, to give back a little and ignite some passions.