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Feature on Khula Aasmaan in Hindustan Times

Khula Aasmaan enabling children in realising their artistic potential

by Ananya Barua


Khula Aasmaan article in Maharashtra Times PUNE : With a vision to harness creative expression among the Youth through art, entrepreneur-cum-art promoter, Milind Sathe introduced an open platform called the Khula Aasmaan. Essentially meaning, the 'open sky’, this platform aims at providing an aperture for artistic imagination and expression to young minds.

Managed by Art India Foundation, a public charitable trust, Khula Aasmaan encourages students to submit their original creations in the form of artworks or ideas, for the online contests which take place round the year for free on www.indiaart.com. Each quarter the jury shortlists a number of submissions which are later awarded with a dedicated webpage for each student, to exhìbit their art over a period of 3 years at no cost. Eventually, after another round of judging the shortlisted individuals are awarded with medals.

According to Sathe, the initiative is much more than a contest, it is a gateway to realising your artistic potential. 'This platform enables children in realising the endless potential of their mind and soul which they in turn express through art. So we do not really have winners, but shortlist students who have done equally well in their own way." An art contest is held for students between 5-15 years of age and competition on art and photography for students between 15-25 years of age.

An initiative which began in October 2016, has now panned out across the country to almost 500 locations. "We wanted to further expand our reach, especially rural and underprivileged areas of the country, however for that language was becoming a barrier, as it began in English. So, this year on September 14 we launched the Hindi edition of Khula Aasmaan, and the Marathi edition on October 18," he added.

For 56-year-old Sathe, who has þeęn working in the IT sector for the past 25 years, the idea for Khula Aasmaan, was not a revelation. “I always believed that art and science together complete a human and so the idea behind the initiative was always in my mind. As the mainstream school and college curriculum is far from allowing students that freedom of minđ, this contest was conceived to make that needed intervention."

Through the website, Sathe has also been promoting knowledge resource on career options, articles and videos by eminent personalities from diverse fields such as visual arts, performing arts, literature, architecture, science, technology, social work and public life, for parents, teachers and students.

Also, to make the experience complete, the initiative is further going to expand to explore the scope of scientific expression among children through various experiments and innovative ideas. The plans for the science section of the competition are underway, Sathe informed.

(Feature in Hindustan Times, Pune edition on Sunday 11 November 2018)