With paint bottles and colour palettes strewn around, Sarla Nadar, 10, diligently painted strokes on white t-shirts on Tuesday.
Though he can barely pronounce the word ‘Fukushima,’ Nadar is among a group of underprivileged children who will send hand-painted shirts to young survivors of last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s nuclear town.
“I have sprayed some bright shades to liven the t-shirt. I’ve also included personal messages for my new friends, asking them to keep smiling and forget their problems,” said Nadar. He is among several participants of the ‘1000 Crane Project,’ an initiative of the Goa-based Tara Trust, a non-profit organisation.
The trust authorities are currently holding an art camp in Mumbai, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) campus, before heading to Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Children are being trained to paint cranes on white T-shirts that will be couriered to the disaster-stricken region of Japan.
“Cranes are a symbol of peace and love. We flagged off the project from a local school in Ladakh in October last year, which had also witnessed catastrophic floods and mudslides in 2010,” said Juhi Pandey, project co-ordinator, Tata Trust.
“Our goal is to finish painting 1,000 T-shirts by the end of this year. We collaborate with local organisations in every city to ensure local participation,” said Pandey.
A participant at the camp, Kiran Naik, 12, a Class 7 student enthusiastically turned a white T-shirt into his canvas. “I am hoping that my friends from Japan will come to visit me once they receive the T-shirts. I will show them around the country and help bring back their lost smiles,” said Naik. “Little children in Japan were left with no homes and schools after last year’s earthquake. We want them to be happy,” he added.