..And I’m not only talking about design and media colleges. I mean degree colleges that offer mainstream courses like BCom and BBA, but students still get to do arts based activities on a regular basis. That, to me, is magical. And we saw this magic happen at Srushti Degree College in Bengaluru, when we got to interact with the most wonderful batch of students.
With the rising indifference towards the arts in schools and colleges, an arts based workshop in college is often seen as a luxury, in terms of both time and money. It is never nearly as important as regular classes and exams. But the truth is, the things we’re keeping at high priority right now is never going to help the students when they step out into the world and have to shape their own future. What does help is the ability to innovate and improvise, to keep an open mind and connect with people around them. What really helps is having an identity that helps a person make good decisions.
At Srushti, the first few minutes of talking to the students made it clear that they have been exposed to a variety of art forms. They had spent time understanding their own minds and those of the people around them, they were able to visualise concepts with ease and most importantly, they sat down with open minds and listened. They knew how to listen! They were thinking like artists and it showed.
We did a simple activity with an image of a tree, and it was delightful to see them getting inspired with minimal prompting (which is incredible, considering how some ten-year-olds need an hour of coaxing to simply doodle their thoughts). It was a joy to watch these young adults light up with child-like excitement and create something beautiful and work together as a team.
This is truly an example of education done right, and it certainly makes one hopeful for a future where these students will eventually be in positions of leadership.
I hope the future has more leaders who did arts based activities in college.