Thursday, November 30, 2023

Creating opportunities by championing Indian art & craft

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Young Preethika Pavirala, who, along with her Vithalika Foundation, is working on the cause of helping orphans and underprivileged women, promoting their interest in Indian art and craft, speaks to The Pioneer about her foundation, challenges, and more.
Nirnitha Nannapuraju
Every time we think of any teenager these days, we can only imagine a youngster with a smart gadget. However, on the other side, there is 17-year-old Preethika Pavirala, all the way from the United States, trying to bring about a change in society. Wondered, how? Well, with the support of over 100 students, aged from 12 to 18 years, she began a non-profit organisation, ‘Vaithalika Foundation’. The foundation has over six branches across India and the United States.
championing Indian
This young NRI has been deeply connected to Indian art forms like Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam ever since she was a kid. Later in 2019, when Preethika moved to India, the ground reality of the orphans hit her. She came across the Cheers Organisation, where she met a couple of children who desired to become dancers. However, with no resources, these kids had to give up on their dreams. It was then that Preethika realised she needed to start the foundation, aiming to provide dance education to these little ones.
“I got all the strength and motivation to work for the cause when students from 12 to 18 years old came forward for the cause. Initially, these students had seen these orphans performing in the schools,” shares Preethika, adding, “We have really built a strong community of volunteers, and I’m glad that students came forward to support our motive.
A teacher named Yamini from New York has been very supportive and will be there in Hyderabad this December to conduct workshops for the orphans. She also comes from an underprivileged background, and we are glad that we always have her by our side.”
Apart from this, Preethika is also working on the cause of helping out underprivileged women, who earn about Rs 200 while making the ‘Kondapalli Bommalu’, and other arts and crafts products. She came across these talented women while on her visit to Shilparamam.
“I wanted my second project to bring awareness about these women and empower them by providing training support, better opportunities for their skill enhancement, and other sources they require to grow.”
Initially, she began her journey by creating a website where they post pictures of the arts and crafts made by women from various villages, like Cherial. For this reason, she has also collaborated with ‘We Hub’. While working on this cause brought her immense satisfaction, Preethika had to go through her own share of struggles. Highlighting some for us, she shares, “When I planned to start the organisation, I was in my 9th grade, and people didn’t really come forward for support.
It was a big challenge for me, but I decided to start it since I was very passionate about art forms.Getting teachers to teach the orphans was another big challenge, as they used to demand money, and being an NGO, we weren’t able to pay them.”
Apart from working with the Cheers Foundation and a few of the villages, she, along with the foundation, is looking to connect with other orphanages and villages, looking forward to making a much bigger impact.
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