Bengaluru-based Baadal Nanjundaswamy's novel way to teach Kannada alphabets

  • | Tuesday | 5th January, 2021

The street artist recently created wall art with Kannada alphabets for children with special needs. The campaign was done in association with the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru. Each of the 49 alphabets is represented with sketches of objects or animals that start with the same alphabet.

The street artist recently created wall art with Kannada alphabets for children with special needs. The campaign was done in association with the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysuru. Each of the 49 alphabets is represented with sketches of objects or animals that start with the same alphabet.

Baadal Nanjundaswamy has shown various animals and objects like rats, clocks, ladders, etc. so that children can identify them easily. The project came to him when he was on the AIISH campus sketching some cartoon characters. The director of the institute requested him to come up with something for children with special needs. It took Nanjundaswamy 10-15 days to conceptualise and finish the project.

“This kind of work does not take much time, but since it’s not a regular project, a lot of thought has gone behind it. I first thought of the word that goes well with the alphabet, scribbled it on a piece of paper before I did the final one on the wall,” explains Nanjundaswamy, adding that he took inspiration from the words he learnt as a child. The alphabets are drawn in the book as a background which will make children feel like they are reading from a ‘big book’.

Nanjundaswamy has earlier used his art to raise voice on issues like potholes, the migrant labour crisis or the importance of wearing masks. For this project, his inspiration was teachers. “When classes went online, it was difficult to teach children, especially those with special needs. Holding their attention was the biggest challenge but the teachers didn’t give up. I wanted to draw something to help them,” says Nanjundaswamy.

The project also came with its own set of challenges. As it was for a educational purpose, he had to make sure that the alphabets are not lost in art, which meant that he had to tone down the artistic side. Though in Mysuru, the art has garnered quite a bit of attention in Bengaluru too, after Nanjundaswamy put it up on social media.



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