PAINTING FOR A CAUSE – PROFILING S. PRANAV

Chennai, March 10: For 12-year-old S. Pranav, ‘Art from the heart’ has been the mantra of his life. His passion for painting has been there since the age of three. It was however only last month that he put his passion up for a greater cause.

The floods that ravaged the city of Chennai last December left a deep impact on the young child and like everyone else, he thought of helping the victims in his own way.

Pranav decided on selling his artwork to raise funds to help the flood victims and hosted his first solo exhibition, ‘Art from Heart’ at Hotel Crowne Plaza last month. Close to 35 of his paintings were sold in six hours as his exhibition raised Rs. 81,500. The entire amount was then donated to ‘Chennai Rising’, an initiative by The Hindu Group.

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Pranav displaying his artworks. Photo: The Hindu

For the students of Velammal Vidyalaya where Pranav studies in Standard VI, he has become a hero!

 “My friend paints nicely and we all told him to paint about floods,” said Shishir, Pranav’s friend who kept on forcing him to come downstairs and play with him.

While speaking about his latest painting, Pranav took out a folder from his cupboard and showed the certificates he had got for his achievements. Photographs with eminent personalities who congratulated him were laminated and kept in an album.

Pranav showed the paint brush he received from Gopalkrishna Gandhi with pride. The young boy, who will enter his teens in the coming months, uses the brush with much matured strokes.

When asked on what gave him the idea of raising money for the flood victims, Pranav said that since his school had been closed during the floods, he started painting.

“I depicted the struggles of the residents and popular landmarks in the city that went under water,” added Pranav.

“When I saw my city suffering because of the rains, I decided to do my part by raising money through selling my paintings,” said Pranav, pointing to the picture of a painting of a flooded Chennai Central station that was sold for Rs. 5,000.

Pranav’s father, Dr. Senthil Kumaran is proud of the achievements of his son, “We never stopped him from scribbling on the walls. Slowly, he began drawing and painting spontaneously. He has never been taught to draw or paint.”

“I am a really proud father that my son at such a young age has a social responsibility of contributing money towards the flood relief,” added Dr. Kumaran.

The walls of his tiny room are filled with colour. While one wall has all his paintings stuck, the wall just beside his bed is like a big canvas where Pranav showcases his talent. He prefers using acrylic paint at the moment, but says if he wants to become professional, he will have to start using oil paints.

While both his parents are doctors and are most of the time occupied with their profession, Pranav never felt that they are not there for him. “My father always encouraged me to paint. Even when I used to make mistakes, he told me to go on.”

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