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An art activity by The Crimson Canvas

Art, the beach, and a cause

To mark its launch in Goa, The Crimson Canvas will be organising Art by the Beach, a fundraiser to fight cervical cancer on January 25 at Miramar

CHRISTINE MACHADO

Art is not just a fun activity but is also known as a great form of meditation. Thus with the aim of getting more people to take up art and as a means of giving artists a platform to conduct workshops, Senniel Gomes together with Victor Mohan started The Crimson Canvas in Bengaluru last year.

“During my medical school years, I took up art as a stress buster. Surprisingly people liked my works and even bought some of them. I then began conducting art activities for parties and was advised to take this up seriously,” says Gomes. Thus, The Crimson Canvas came into being.

Now after conducting activities in Surat and Bengaluru, and given that Gomes is Goan herself, the organisation is now making its way to Goa. “We already have four artists onboard and are looking to add 10 more,” says Gomes.

And to start things off, the organisation, which began with a fundraising marathon together with Goa College of Architecture on January 19 at Campal Grounds, is now all set to host ‘Art by the Beach’, a fundraiser to fight cervical cancer on January 25 at Miramar Beach

This initiative is in collaboration with Reach Lives India, an NGO, co-founded by Gomes and Mohan, which is meant to bridge the gap between the rich and poor. The NGO comprises #ReachHealth, #ReachNutrition and #ReachCreativity. “As part of #ReachHealth we have collaborated with a couple of hospitals and conduct health camps in rural and slum areas in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and are now looking at starting this in Goa,” says Gomes. Under #ReachNutrition they collect good quality leftover food from restaurants and distribute these to night shelters. Their #ReachCreativity is done with The Crimson Canvas where all the profits generated from the art activities go into aiding orphanages, disabled homes, etc. “We also look at picking out children who show potential in art and train them. The aim is to train them enough so that they can become a part of The Crimson Canvas too,” says Gomes.

In Goa, however, they are looking at focusing on cervical cancer, which people don’t have enough awareness about, states Gomes.

“Not many people know about cervical cancer nor do people like talking about reproductive parts of the body. Men of course ignore it completely as a female disease,” says Gomes. One of the reasons why this topic is still taboo is that as per the textbook definition, one of the main factors for getting this cancer is having multiple sexual partners. “Thus, they believe that if you have it, it means that one has been promiscuous, but in truth that is not the only cause factor,” says Gomes. In fact, she adds, her initial plan was to have a couple of survivors of cervical cancer share their stories at the January 25 event. “But they don’t even want to say that they had cervical cancer preferring to instead say it was uterine or some other cancer,” says Gomes.

Thus, there is a need to talk about this cancer more, states Gomes, and also about the existence of a vaccine against it. “The problem is that at the moment the cost of the vaccine is around six to seven thousand rupees for the whole dose and it is manufactured by only one pharmaceutical company,” says Gomes. For this fundraiser and awareness campaign they have collaborated with this company. All the proceeds from the event will go towards making these vaccines more affordable. “We’re targeting around 100 children between the age of 9 to 12 years mainly from orphanages in and around Panaji, to get heavily discounted vaccines for them,” says Gomes. In the past one week, some team members along with doctors from Manipal Hospital have been going around educating people about the vaccination and the need for screening.

The event itself will be a painting session of one-hour duration and is open to everybody. No prior art experience is necessary. “Participants will be guided on the different materials required in painting. The workshop is themed around Mario Miranda kind of paintings. The participants will get to take home the entire art kit which will be provided. The hope is that this will encourage them to continue painting in the future,” she says.

(Art by the Beach will be held on January 25, 4 p.m. at Miramar Beach)

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