How Two Men from Advertising Started An NGO That Is Looking To Change Lives Through Art

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How Two Men from Advertising Started An NGO That Is Looking To Change Lives Through Art

Rittyz Kashyap and Irfan Khan have built a network of people through their NGO that enables art based solutions to social problems across India

Art can be a powerful tool for social movements and sustainable reforms, taking this philosophy forward, an NGO based out of Delhi is reaching out to communities across India to felicitate change. Arth, Art for Humanity came into being when Irfan Khan and Rittyz Kashyap, got disillusioned with their advertising careers and decided to do away with making art just for the sake of fuelling consumerism or “to please the eyes of people holding wine glasses in a gallery. It was just for not enough,” they say. In a moment of existential crisis, they started looking for meaning through art and that is when Arth was born.

This was in January 2018, and since then Arth, Art for Humanity has built itself into a network of likeminded people “who are seeking solutions to some serious problems of the world, through art.” The people associated with Arth are from varied backgrounds, from law to literature, from students to professionals. Since starting operations, the NGO has completed four projects successfully and have been funded by various organisations that they collaborated with.

Fishing at Wah Umshyrpi in progress

For instance, their project, Fishing at Wah Umshyrpi, was in association with Metropolis Asia for their 2018 event in Shillong, Meghalaya. With the theme of conservation at heart, the project was an artistic expression that encouraged people to do their bit for Um—the lifeline. In Khasi, Um, means water.  It drew inspiration from the myriad of stories about the erstwhile clean rivers of Meghalaya, most of which have now been reduced to trickling drains.

Their second project, Haq Se Hero, was self-funded and it is an ongoing project which one can volunteer for. The aim of this project is to nurture underprivileged creatives to become self-reliant through mentoring and livelihood assistance. There were also Pots of Hope and The Concrete Tree, which were sponsored by the Urban Green Movement and Humana People to People India.

A Pots of Hope Workshop

Pots of Hope, an up-cycled plastic planter making workshop was conducted with underprivileged children in the hope for a greener tomorrow. The Concrete Tree, is a sculptor as an intervention to help those living in concrete jungles realise what they are missing in their frenzy to create a world of architectural wonders.

“As our name says, we are all up for art that’s for humanity,“ says Kashyap. They are also working on a project to promote rainwater harvesting in Mawsynram, Meghalaya. “Although the place is known for receiving the highest rainfall in the world, Mawsynram suffers from a serious scarcity of water in the dry months,” notes Kashyap.

The NGO is also looking for help for their ongoing Haq Se Hero project, if you want to volunteer at this Arth, please click here

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