A 15-year-old class X student shares his passion with other youngsters for six days
Youth Development Fund Program: A discarded piece of wood, or twig for that matter, can be of some use, if you looked at it through creative lens.
This is exactly what Abishek Lama, a class X student in Phuentsholing middle secondary school, started doing two years ago, when he started turning chunk of woods and stems into decorative pieces, an art of a kind.
“Seeing beautiful woodcraft in the market, I used to wonder how people can do stuff with it, and used to get inspired,” the 15-year-old said.
He said, while visiting his grandmother in the village in Tsirang, he was excited to see some unique decorative pieces made from various parts of a tree, a work of his uncle.
“I decided to try it out myself, without seeking anyone’s help,” Abishek said. And it worked just fine.
On making a trip to the Gelephu airport, which was under construction then, he saw a number of trees that were uprooted. While he was saddened to see a number of trees ripped out, he also had an array of raw material to pick from for his artwork.
He chose the best twigs and stems, cleaned them off unwanted branches and leaves to carry home.
Using sandpaper, he smoothened the surface, gave it a shine, while churning out different shapes and designs, deemed fit for home decor.
Being natural, Abishek said, it added to the beauty of homes. He said he had only one difficulty, naming his works, which appear pretty abstract.
Today, without wasting much time, Abishek is making the best of his winter vacation, by sharing his skills with Phuentsholing youth at a program arranged by youth development fund.
“I volunteered, so that I can pursue my interest, while also teaching youth to reuse waste,” he said.
Along with his 12 students, he collected woods drifted along the bank of Toorsa river. After drying and cleaning, he taught the students to lend them shape.
Aptly so, they named the program “driftwood”.
“I’ll be glad if they can do something creative and earn money from it during winter breaks,” the young chap said, who, for now has no intention of making a business out of his interest.
He said providing a platform for youth to display their talents was what appeared more important to him for now.
“Had it not been YDF program, I wouldn’t have been able to share what I know,” he said.
Meanwhile, the youth hostel in Phuentsholing is filled with about 310 youth, ranging from ages 10 to 20, who are engaged in different activities, like indoor games, book reading, dancing, painting and RENEW programs.
Manager Rinchen Tshering said the first ever program, funded by UNFPA, is to keep youth from anti-social activities, and involve them in something meaningful during vacation.
The six-day program ends today.
By Yangchen C Rinzin, Phuentsholing