A child is a seed of happiness and the seeds bloomed at Bal Bhavan in Campal on Children’s Day for the parents present to enjoy and teachers and officials to take pride in their work as the 600-odd students danced, sang, recited stories and poems, and made music.
For a change, it was a presentation for parents through a children’s party. And, all went home happy.
“Teaching is one thing and establishing an attachment with students is another and our teachers are good at both and that is why students who have passed out from Bal Bhavan are excelling in art all over the world,” says Bal Bhavan Director, Dayanand Sawdikar as he keeps extolling the children.
“Children's Day is the most important day in our calendar because children are our foundation. We are here because of our love for children. Love flows from children and we reciprocate that love through our teaching and that is why coming to teach is a joy for us all,” says Chaitra Mandrekar, lead Bharatanatyam teacher of Bal Bhavan that has 52 sub-centres all over Goa.
As children performed, some teachers conducted drawing, craft and face painting workshops to keep all the kids present entertained. “A child is always special to us all but we try to make them feel extra special on Children's Day because all through they make us feel so happy and that is why children need not be understood,” thinks Chaitra as she carefully observes children within her sight.
“My Mama brings me to Bal Bhavan to learn Bharatanatyam, to do drawing and to play in the garden. It is fun,” says Carla who is going to be six in December. “It is a good break for my daughter from her routine in the village. She meets children from different backgrounds here and I presume it will improve her understanding and acceptance,” says Carla’s mother, Jeenat Begum Sayed.
“Bal Bhavan offers courses up to graduation level in different forms of art. We are affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya from Mumbai and today people that have passed out from our institution are doing well all over the world. Many of our students are now working as teachers with Kala Academy,” says Dayanand Sawdikar.
“Wait! Let me set up the paints for all of you and then we can start having fun. This is being done for you all to have fun and so just give me a little time to set everything for us to start,” drawing teacher Trupti Kavlekar can be overheard telling the children swarming on her table she is setting.
“The Bal Bhavan is a good place for my children to interact with children of their age and at the same time learn some form of art. It was difficult for us at home trying to keep them busy during Covid but now it’s good for the kids and us as parents,” admits Pallavi, mother of two.
As the sun began to set, the tiredness could be seen on the faces of the children and they began leaving, recounting to their parents, in their own ways, their experiences of the joys of Children's Day.
“It is nice to see happy children and parents together. Both look tired but they will be back here tomorrow for another day and we need to be ready for them,” said Laxmidas Manerkar as the 70-odd staff began preparing to wind up for their evening with their own children at home.