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Kala Bhavan students put up Garbage Art installation made from the waste of the Sonajhuri Haat

12 April, 2023 09:38:43
Kala Bhavan students put up Garbage Art installation made from the waste of the Sonajhuri Haat

Every person, in their formative years, learns that "cleanliness is next to godliness." The students of Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan (Institute of Fine Arts), have taken the initiative to promote such a message by making a structure entirely out of the plastic waste that was lying around Sonajhuri Haat. A colourful structure can be seen these days while entering the Sonajhuri Haat. At a glance, it may appear as some sort of decoration, but it is an installation made of the plastic littered around by urbanites and tourists who regularly visit this area.

Thousands of waste materials, such as water bottles, plastic packets, cups, wrappers, etc., were lying on the grounds where the Haat comes up every weekend. This "shameful" garbage has been picked up by students of Kala Bhavan at Visva-Bharati. They have stapled these wastes to ropes on a bamboo structure to depict the harsh reality of tourism and how it affects Mother Nature so brutally. Students of Kala-Bhavan took turns picking up the waste and cleaning the Sonajhuri Forest. Each and every piece of plastic that has been picked up by the students has been pinned to the structure.

Kala Bhavan (Institute of Fine Arts) is the fine arts faculty of Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan. The institution focuses on education and research in the visual arts. It was founded in 1919 by Rabindranath Tagore. Music and arts are taught in this institute. By 1933, the two streams of Kala Bhavan were separated into two different schools, Kala Bhavan and Sangit Bhavan. The campus of Kala Bhavan is breathtakingly beautiful, the walls have splendid murals on them, and there are unique sculptures around the campus. From Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij, and Benode Behari Mukherjee to eminent artists like Sarbari Roy Chowdhury, Somnath Hore, and K.G. Subramanyan, all have contributed largely to the making of Kala Bhavan over a century. Kala Bhavan of Santiniketan is home to the Bengal School of Art. While Sonajhuri Haat is an open-air market that has the warmth of a rural atmosphere. In the market, different types of handmade things are available. Strolling across the banks of the river Kopai, one will be mesmerized by the display of different handicrafts. Handmade bags, jewellery, shoes, toys, and much more are primarily made by local artisans. Everyday, the market is set up at 11 a.m. in the morning and continues till dusk. Local folk singers, or bauls, throng the area, who sing melodious songs, and tribal folk dancers, who dance to them. The place is not only a shopper’s paradise but also a place to relax and enjoy oneself in the lap of nature.


But what the tourists leave behind is appalling. The Kala Bhavan project to create the garbage art installation has been named "Existence of Inside Outside," and students of all batches are involved in the project. The call of "Existence of Inside Outside" means keeping both our homes and surroundings clean. The students have picked art as a weapon to spread awareness against the use of plastic and to save the environment.

Chaiti Sanyal, who recently visited Sonajhuri Haat, said, "Sonajhuri Haat is locally called Shonibaarer haat (Saturday haat). It is famous for the various things that are available here. From garments to decorative materials, Ektaras (a one-string drone lute), earrings, necklaces, and many more are locally made by these artists. Every Saturday and now, on Sundays, the haat is full of people from different places. Due to the famous Haat, many tourists visit the place and throw their waste here. The project by the students of Kala Bhavan is really appreciated. Sonajhuri Haat was gradually losing its beauty due to the waste. The students have taken a much-needed initiative".

Arnab Das, who is a regular visitor at Sonajhuri Haat, added, "Nowadays, a common phenomenon that can be noticed is the amount of waste people throw around without a thought. It can often be seen that a dustbin is standing at some corner, and surrounding it is a pile of waste on the ground. There are signs and boards installed in order to request people not to litter the area. But most ignore such signs. The project ‘Existence of Inside Outside’ is a really nice innovation by the students of Kala Bhavan. They have cleaned the place and displayed the huge amount of plastic waste to discourage littering the place."

Protecting the environment should be our first priority. Our future depends on the environment we live in. The immense pollution is harming the environment more than ever. To protect the environment, we need to unite and combat the situation together. Kudos to the youngsters of Kala Bhavan for having thought of such an idea that will be visible to people and shame them for being irresponsible. We need more such initiatives that inspire everyone around us.

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