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Auction of art with a heart

Don't miss an important art auction on Nov 15 at 7 pm at the Italian Embassy premises of 83 major art works donated by leading Indian artistes. Renuka Narayanan tells more.

delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2007 00:52 IST
Renuka Narayanan

Bid online at www.indianartcircle.com/ashraya where the catalogue is on view or call Neha Kirpal at 98-180-28322 for an invitation, if you don't have one already. But don't miss the important art auction on November 15 at 7 pm at the Italian Embassy premises, of 83 major art works donated by leading Indian artistes.

The cause? "Raising one crore at the very least for one of the most genuine NGOs in India, something I have seen for myself since 20 years!" says senior painter Anjole Ela Menon who has personally curated the show and also contributed a major painting. The NGO is Bangalore-based Ashraya, run by Nomita Chandy, that works for poor children and battered women.

Since 1982, they have run creches for the children of construction workers on over 30 sites all over Bangalore but realising that the children dropped out when the parents moved on to new sites, they set up Neelbagh, a boarding school for such children, in 1996, a 100 km from Bangalore, in rural Karnataka. "It's a wonderful school, I have been there several times and it is a genuine effort. The children are taught absolutely free and treated well," vouches Menon.

Ashraya has even managed a foothold in a remand home in Bangalore, places that are normally alleged to abuse the children who are unloaded there from the streets. "But Ashraya has set up a school there and it is now a model remand home, an example of what India can do right," says Menon.

Today's auction, too, is for a far-reaching social cause: setting up a rehabilitation centre for battered women in the industrial belt outside Bangalore, housing them for two years and training them for jobs in the area's garment industry. "We take 18-plus girls, rape victims, battered women. Our goal is to set them up on their feet. After training, they start earning Rs 3,000 a month or more. Now we want to make a proper training center for them," says Ashraya founder Chandy. "Indian artists have been very generous," lauds Menon, of the upcoming fundraiser. Over now to all of you out there.