Students from Ernakulam school make massive portrait to commemorate Mahatma

Made in stencil art, it measures 51.3 ft. in height and 44.3 ft. in width and is spread over 2,272 sq.ft

The Jama-ath Higher Secondary School at Thandekkad in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district of Kerala paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi ahead of his birth anniversary on October 2 by readying a huge portrait of the Father of the Nation in stencil art on Thursday.

A portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, measuring 51.3 feet in height and 44.3 feet in width and spread over 2,272 sq.ft, was unveiled at the school auditorium. The creative work was undertaken by nearly 120 budding artists from classes 7 to 12 as part of Gandhiyam initiative by cartoonist Shanavas Mudikkal.

“The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi is the first in the proposed 100 portraits of freedom fighters to be set up in select schools across the State. We hope that such a venture will help the young generation learn more about the sacrifices made by those who fought for India’s independence,” said Mr. Shanavas.

The portrait in stencil art took around eight hours to be completed, as the students were invited in batches to the school considering the pandemic situation. Mr. Shanavas said 545 chart papers, each having a size of 22×20 inch, were used for making the portrait. “Each batch of students was asked to finish a layer. They were given an outline without mentioning about who they were drawing to retain an element of suspense,” he added.

K.A. Noushad, teacher and co-ordinator of the initiative, claimed that the portrait was the largest in stencil art made by students of a school. “The creative process involving students assumes significance at a time when efforts are on to remove freedom fighters and social reformers from the annals of history,” he said.

Students who participated in the initiative said they had received online training on how to complete the portrait amid the COVID-19 situation. “It was a learning experience for all of us,” they said.

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