Oorja for Whitefield Rising’s Bembala: Extending support to survivors of violence

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Artist group show to support Bembala.

Bembala is a Bengaluru-based organisation – an initiative of the citizens group, Whitefield Rising– is a free and confidential volunteer-run support center for women and children who face abuse or violence. The alarming rise of violence against women and children is of critical concern for Bengaluru today. A group art show “Oorja” will be held at The Art Corridor Taj West End, Bengaluru from 23rd Feb to 2nd March 2020 in association with Mr. M G Doddamani.

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“Oorja” or Energy in Sanskrit is the defining expression of the human spirit, that energy or life force which inspires and unifies us to reach out through creative expressions, be it through art, social action or community outreach, thus creatively building better communities.

Participants at the showcase

The show will showcase over 8artworks from 24 artists who also come forward to support the cause of Bembala, including the ones of well-known artists from all over India such as K T Shivprasad, Sachin Jaltare, Gurudas Shenoy, Basuki Das Gupta, M G Doddamani, JMS Mani, as well as upcoming and promising artists, such as Jyoti Gupta, Kanthi V, Neelam Malhotra, Nivedita Gouda, Ritu Chawla Mathur, Rosh Ravindran, Vanaja Bal, and Venkataraman R. These modern-day artworks are expressive yet provoking, distinctive and vibrant. Their illustrations revolve around an array of colourful subjects inspired from the society at large and life surrounding the artists that are symbolic of their views and perspectives.

This art show promises to be a treat with senior artists like JMS Mani’s Badami series that recreates the simple, rustic life of Deccan plateau; M G Doddamani’s symbolic paintings depicting meaningful causes; Gurudas Shenoy’s creative expressions of cityscapes.

The inauguration (by invitation only) will be held on 22nd Feb and the guests of honour Ms Anu Menda and Mr. Somnath Mukherjee along with panelists Ms. Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Ms Vasantha Vaikunth and Ms Nitya Ramakrishnan will be opening the show along with Mr M G Doddamani and the artists.

On the day of the launch, 22nd Feb 2020, along-side the paintings Ms Priya Chetty-Rajgopal, one of the panelist will be in conversation with artist M G Doddamani , Ms Nitya Ramakrishnan from Whitefield Rising and Ms Vasantha Vaikunth, to understand if art simply awakens the creativity or beauty inside of us all, or can stunning works of art (visual and performing) make us really think about deeper issues? How great artworks cause most people to stop, if even for just a moment, to have an emotional experience for a cause?

About Bembala

Bembala is a community-led and volunteer-based initiative that provides emotional support, while enabling protection and empowerment through a network of partners. In the process, they offer access to police intervention, shelter and protection, medical and legal aid, long-term counselling, mediation, financial empowerment or occupational support. It is not a well-known fact that one in three women face violence at some point during their lifetime. Changing the situation or removing oneself from an abusive scenario takes a lot of courage and the process can be emotionally draining and traumatic. Having to further find and coordinate the best available options for one’s case, the information required to support it, to find the right agencies for assistance, and to know one’s rights to enable these options – all appear to be a daunting task for these survivors.

Bembala opened its doors on 30th January 2019 at Vydehi Hospital in Whitefield. In the period of one year, over 90 women and children have been helped at the center. They have also reached 300 plus people through their awareness and outreach program “Bol Sakhi” that works on a long-term impact-based model. Bembala also began working with the police by first conducting a training session to sensitize the head constables of the eight Whitefield area police stations toward women’s issues. Recently, other partner referral agencies have started soliciting their help with their cases. With every woman and child that they help, Bembala takes one more person to a safer place. While acknowledging that their reach is limited as of now, they are looking for volunteers and funding to continue helping vulnerable women and children.

About MG Doddamani – The Curator

M G Doddamani is a Bangalore based renowned artist and curator, who has won many State and National Awards. He has held many solo shows and more than two hundred group shows all over the world. His collections are in prestigious art galleries, State Museums Bangalore, art colleges and in many private and public collections in India and overseas.

Testimonial of artists for a cause

Sharing her thoughts on the show, artist Ritu Chawla Mathur doing a series on ‘The Doors – Untold Stories’ for the event said,

“Being involved with the event ‘Oorja’ has given me so much of joy. Not only do I get to give back to my community in the way I love most – by painting, I get to do it surrounded by other people who have the same passion as I do, and who too want to selflessly give back. I think it’s a great initiative to have artists, NGOs and Hotels all come together for a cause in our community. I am so happy to be a part of it.”

Another artist Rosh says,

“Artists always work for a cause, it can be to project their thoughts, share compassion, help society, or preserve nature and other living beings. It gives immense pleasure to an artist if the cause helps a certain section of society which are unorganized and exploited.  In my series “Facets” I portray the young, talented, and brilliant women in a backdrop of various fields of technology, which they excel in but are often not perceived to be. Most of the time, we see them besieged in flowers and fauna or glitter and glamour.”

Artist Vanaja Bal says,

“I am happy and honoured to be a part of Oorja which provides an excellent platform for creativity, thereby helping to connect and build relationships with like-minded people with a difference. What a better way to create Art for a Cause where it also takes learning a notch up!”


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