HERD Foundation Celebrates Kite Flying Festivities For Makar Sankranti

January 14 is celebrated as Makar Sankranti Festival each year all over India. It is said to be one of the most ancient of Hindu festivals. Devoted to the Sun God the day heralds the change of seasons and welcomes the soon-to-come spring time. The festival is associated with communities cutting across the country who all follow diverse traditions with great enthusiasm. The one tradition in common above all, all over, is that of flying kites!!

HERD Foundation HR unit had the staff celebrating the kite flying festivities with great fanfare. Members were invited to go up on the office terrace to enjoy flying of colourful kites.  Soon everyone was busy drawing strings on the paper kites and attempting to get them up in the air to adorn the sky. Colourful kites were to waft amid music and cheers from the staff members.

Wondering why the tradition of flying kites is associated with Sankranti, soon many thoughts began floating around. Some had been taught traditionally that since winters brought in the cold along with illness, the sun offered relief. While it is common to lounge in the warmth of the winter sun to be rid of the chill and disease causing germs, kite flying added a new dimension to enjoying the sun. In fact the act of flying kites is said to be a more proactive way of enjoying the sun.

A yet more symbolic reason on offer is that flying kites up in the high skies is to reach up to the heavens on Makar Sankranti day to offer obeisance and thankfulness to the gods. It is also seen to be a signal to help awaken the Gods who as per mythology go to sleep for six months. Makar Sankranti is the day they wake up and the blue skies are dotted with colourful kites to welcome them.

Taking these reasons with a pinch of salt, the fact remains that all across the country kites fly high on this day. Regarded as the first big festival of the calendar year, (the Hindu New Year is in March on Gudi Padwa day), young and old people participate with great fervor for this annual ritual. Preparations for the celebrations begin days in advance to stock up kites, strings and all other needed paraphernalia.

Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated with great joy by rich and poor alike. The festival marks the onset of spring and thereafter summer after the cold winter which makes it’s a harbinger of good times ahead. The festival in particular gets everyone out in the sun offering health benefits and enjoying special treats prepares especially for the day. The sun offers medicinal support, exposing people with good doses of Vitamin D.

HERD Foundation staff enjoyed the day amid gaiety, laughter and music in the sun, enjoying fun, special fare and togetherness in a spirit of bonhomie offered by the Human Resources unit. Special thanks are due to Nisha Mishra, HR Manager and Latika Vadher, HR Executive for contributing to the success of the event.

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HERD Foundation Mural Artwork Inauguration

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Dr Suchika Gupta Deshmukh, MD HERD Foundation Encapsulating the Project

HERD Foundation commemorated the very inspirational Mural Artwork created at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport at Nagpur, dedicating it to the three little girls who are the face of the thematic visual depiction on girl-child and women empowerment. The mural completed in record 13 days is the brainchild of Dr Suchika Gupta Deshmukh, MD, HERD Foundation.

The ground breaking event held on Saturday, February 18 at arrivals lounge of the airport stands out as an innovative project undertaken inside the airport terminal, a first of its kind! The swift ceremony bore semblance to a flashmob presentation in the tightly-secured precinct. For both invitees and hosts it was an incredible experience that had everyone enjoying the artistic interlude.

HERD Foundation invited keen art lovers of Nagpur to be part of the inauguration, bringing forth bureaucrats, corporate leaders, women leaders, educationists, doctors, entrepreneurs, media people and well known city dignitaries to enjoy the mural. Dr Suchika Deshmukh spelled out the background of how the project came to its successful completion.

Invited speakers shared their thoughts and opinions about the mural artwork. The faces of the girls painted were 3 of 150 children who actually drew their aspirations on paper that were later replicated by artists on the wall. The original children’s drawings were on display at the function. The skill of key artist Augustina Droze, Fulbright Scholar from USA whose specialty is painting photographically, was instrumental in creating larger than life faces of Payal, Sonali and Kashish – portraying Contemplation, Hope and Conviction.

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Dr Amol Deshmukh Congratulates Artist’s for a Spectacular Feat

The design elements of the mural included children’s drawings and girls braids as repetitive features with blank spaces providing art-relief highlighting the creativity. The thematic representation in line with HERD Foundation’s vision is close to Dr Suchika’s heart. Knowing full well that not all girls and women get a privileged platform in life, she had to draw attention to the majority of women in need of empowerment.

Gender bias is prevalent and deeply embedded in all cultures, economies, political and social institutions. Even today women and girls face unacceptable levels of discrimination that apart from being wrong, also prevent them from playing their full part in society. The airport appeared to be a perfect place to project the theme to be used as a telling backdrop. The passionate contributions by volunteer artists who worked tirelessly made it possible to complete the artwork in 13 days!

Never perhaps in the history of airports in India has such an event taken place, to the best of our knowledge. HERD Foundation encourages passengers and visitors to stop a while and enter the innocent minds that conceived the blueprint of this enormous artwork conveying important messages in an engaging manner.  HERD Foundation is proud to produce India’s First Community Art Mural at an Airport that surely adds to the stature of the airport and the city.

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Original Children’s Drawings on Display