‘Chai for Cancer’ Adda at IDEAL

CFC Invite IDEAL 18 MarWarm welcome to everyone!
Please join us at the IDEAL campus near Sindhubhavan Road for a beautiful cause.

IDEAL is proud to be associated with the Max Foundation, for the ‘Chai for Cancer Adda’ on Saturday, 18th March, 2017 from 5pm onwards.
This is a noble cause to help create awareness on Cancer and also to work towards raising funds for those who can’t afford the right medication, counselling and assistance.
Please help us spread the word.
Looking forward to meeting you all over chai 🙂
See you there!


CEPT Monsoon Semester 2016

The Students of the World History of Art & Craft class visited IDEAL for a hands on experience in Screen Develop & Printing and in Block Making & Printing using Man made Woods.

Block Printing Workshop

The History of World Art & Craft can taught by Asha Mandapa ma’am at CEPT, includes an exploratory can in blocks making using ‘Man – made’ woods.clip_1m

Blocks Developt & Printing.



Screen Printing Workshop

The students also did some exploratory work on Screen Printing.


Screen Developt & Printing:



The IDEAL Voluntary Service Programme


The IDEAL Voluntary Service Programme

Trying to make the Change.  

Project ‘Liberation’ 2003

“This is an ongoing project undertaken between Ganatar and IDEAL in the Little Rann of Kutch.

The project targets the Agariya community. Its focus is the economic betterment of the women and children of the salt pan workers.

The project enters its fourth year now and the results are just beginning to show.

The campus in the Little Rann is almost complete and an educated work force is in place. This year the target is to provide employment opportunities to this group through the business plan that has been worked out.”

-Asha Mandapa, 2003


Project Agariyas

About them…

The Agariyas are people living in absolute poverty deprivation and isolation, in a land of near nothingness, where the birds don’t fly and grass doesn’t grow, where the water doesn’t flow and salinity turns the bones into rock….

Situated in the Desert, the Rann of Kutch in North West India, the children of the salt pan workers migrate annually to the unforgiving land to produce table salt in similarly unforgiving circumstances. Since they have no formal schools to attend, they miss out on schooling for eight months a year. Families own small pans from which they harvest salt.

The conditions in which the Agariyas are forced to work are far from comfortable. They work in the relentless heat; most of them are not given the protective footwear needed to protect their bodies from absorbing too much salt. The condition is so serious that upon cremation, while the rest of the body burns up naturally, the feet stay undestroyed due to the high levels of salt in the body. Apart from this, is the situation of a low pay and high debts.

The salt pan workers work eight to ten hours a day. They have to clean out the salt pans, fill them with sea water or the natural underground saline water, scrape away the salt and finally collect the white salt crystals for transportation elsewhere. They earn roughly around seven paise per kilo of salt. And they make roughly about three thousand rupees a year.

Besides eye and skin problems, these people, , suffer from malaria, fever and malnutrition as basic health amenities are not in place here. The workers have no access to sanitation, potable water and medical facilities. Even if they get a permanent structure as shelter, it is small and badly ventilated.

Children from such families also miss out on school life as they are in the salt pan from September to May and can go back to their villages only in the monsoon months when there is no work.


Project Agariyas

Where IDEAL fits in …

The Charitable Trust set up in Ahmedabad under the Bombay Trust Act, under the name of Foundation for Art and Craft Expression, FACE was established in 2003.

The Trustees:Picture1

  • Dr Dwijendra Tripathi (Former Dean of the IIM)
  • Ms Jyoti Jumani (Communication Expert and author)
  • Prof S.B. Vora (Former Vice Chancellor Gujarat University)
  • Mr B.C. Mandapa (Vice President, MJB India)
  • MrsAshaMandapa (Proprietor Reflections)


One of the objectives of the trust was to provide an education in the Arts and Crafts

with a special emphasis on New Age media like the study of Glass/ Wood/Fabric/ Metal.

Towards this end the Institute of Design Expression ,Art and Learning, IDEAL was set up in 2003 under aegis of the Trust.

Ganatar, an NGO which is involved with the Agariya community in the Little Rann of Kutch, was identified as the partner in the social service progamme. Ganatar’s thoughts and ideologies matched to some extent with those of the Idealists. Ganatar aimed at providing a basic education to the children of the salt pan workers with a view to their upliftment.

In the words of Asha Mandapa, Director, IDEAL –

“The Idealists believe that education without vocation was to some extent self defeating.

Only if vocation was provided, would education be relevant.

The two were inter-related. They had to travel hand in hand.”

The people, women and children had to be shown the link and shown its direct economic benefit.

Educating the children and then sending them back to their life in the Rann was only going to create an awareness of what they were missing. And leave them educated but frustrated.

The Idealists were aware of the potential of high end quality products in the consumer markets. And they knew how to reach them.

They also had the ability to train small groups of women and children in simple creative work, which would then be translated into high end products and marketed. So the project Liberation, as it was called, began.

Initially the trainers had to go into the Rann and collect their future students and bring

them to what is now the campus. And the training camps began.

The children were found to be wonderfully creative! Coming from a land without color their work was rich with color!!

This was 2003. A terribly hot, sweltering summer that no one felt! And we knew we were on the right track. The children began to wait for these camps. The women began to plan their days so they could attend them – and we were on our way.

Small triumphs in the form of small orders, small exhibition counters and sales beyond their wildest dreams followed, and the idea of education with vocation was affirmed.

2005/06 – It was time to give project Liberation form and change direction (and name!)

The work force was now living on campus.Ganatar was providing a wonderful education.

Practical knowledge of living, hygiene, housekeeping, cooking with out any gender bias was being imparted.

The vocation wagon was now ready to move on. It was time to launch a marketable product line, as a brand.”


Project Agariyas

The Experience… “The concept of using the name of thei

“The concept of using the name of their community as their brand was appealing to them and all of us at IDEAL and

In the logo of the Agariyas, the line symbolises the flat, endless horizon and the red bindu symbolizes the rising sun.

The first product line to launch under the Agariyas brand was the line in Paper. Stationery, bags, Boxes, bookmarks, cards, notes, etc. Each beautifully crafted and designed.

Various techniques like marbling, block printing, hand painting, screen printing and dyeing are applied.

The children are taught not to rely on a charity angle for their sales. They are taught to rely on design, quality and finish.

They are taken on field trips to the city and are made aware of the big departmental stores and malls that will one day carry their products.

They are taught to look and examine the products that are displayed. And are shown the quality they are expected to produce. And hopefully better.

They are being taught the value of the brand “Agariyas”.

The line has met with some small measure of success. The company was launched in July end, targeting the Rakshabandhan festival in Ahmedabad.

The Agariyas entered exhibitions at “The Pride” and the “Grand Bhagwati” hotels.

The children attended to the customers and made their sales under the watchful eyes of the Idealists.

And children whose families earn Rs 3000/ a year under terrible conditions saw their potential to double that in a single evening . It was an uplifting moment for all of us. Economic success was understood. Clearly.

2006 November – Orders have been executed for private clients for Diwali greeting cards, letterheads, gift bags for art stores, and for corporates like Cotmac, Control Plus, Citibank. And we are on our way. The group will expand and the momentum will pick up.

The second product line to launch will be the line in Fabrics. We are hoping to launch a line of Home furnishings, table linen etc.

A line in ladies wear, basic shirts and work wear is on the anvil next.


Project Agariyas

Our Products…





Social Service Initiatives


The Story of PARAKRAM


A Diary of a most Magical, Memorable Journey…

Our story begins in the summer of 2014.

Ms Anurita Rathore, an eminent journalist, Art Enthusiast and the Proprietor of Eyescapades, an event Management Company, conducted the First Art Auction for Charity in July 2014.

The aim here was that the proceeds of the auction would go towards a Creative Vocational Art Education for underprivileged urban children.

Eminent artists and other notable members of Society came together to paint, sculpt and create for a cause! The event made ripples in the circles of Ahmedabad! And was a First-of-its-kind event hailed by everyone as a great Success!

The Auction itself was conducted by YudhishtarUrs, in a wonderfully lighthearted way, which brought laughter and spirit to a great Art Auction!

Once the Auction was over, the views of all the participants were taken in the gallery, to decide how the corpus,so generously donated by the artists,was to be used.

It was much later that Ms Anurita Rathore approached IDEAL to conduct this creative vocational endeavour based on the Institute’s rich and varied experience in conducting such programs with long term goals and economic viability (For E.g. With the Agariyas, in the Little Rann of Kutch)



After a series of meetings with the Board Governors at IDEAL, and with the trustees of FACE (Foundation for Art & Craft Expression), the Trust associated with IDEAL, the PARAKRAM Program, began.

A two year, Creative, Vocational Program was designed by Asha Mandapa, Academic Director IDEAL to impart quality education to the children in the age group 13 years and above.  The aim was to focus on Skill development with Creative and Vocational training that would enable the short-listed children to realize their goals of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. A key factor of this program was that the raw materials used by the children would be easily available and affordable to ensure sustainability in the long run.

The next few months went in meeting with members of YUVA and Ms Anurita Rathore, in identifying candidates who would benefit the most, through, specially designed screening processes. This resulted in a group of 28 children being identified. This was done with the knowledge (and expectation) that some children would eventually and naturally drop out of the program, while those that remained would be the committed group that would be developed further.

And so, we entered 2015.





February 2015

With everything finally in place, the inauguration of the PARAKRAM Project took place on 21st February 2015 with the children, the volunteers, the Various Artists who had donated so generously to the project, and even Trustees from FACE all in attendance.

This was a wonderful new experience for everyone, and the event was supercharged with the spirit of good energy, hope and positivity.

To commemorate the start of the program, the Senior Artists, Members of the Trust and Ms. Anurita Rathore presented the children with Basic Art Material Kits.

The program had officially begun!

The last days of February went in aclimatising the children to the new routine and incorporating the new program into their lives.

Even the children’s parents/guardians visited IDEAL, and went away reassured that their wards were in good hands!


March / April 2015

February began with a basic Foundation program that carried into the month of March. The students of IDEAL, the IDEALists and the students of PARAKRAM began to interact and work together.

A program of Sketching, Understanding form and line, simple perspective exercises, light and shade were taught.

To relieve the monotony of these exercises, and to generate and maintain excitement through the learning process, fabric as a material was introduced.

The results of doing this were truly wonderful. The magic of vivid colour and the fabric dyeing processes stimulated the children, and a short term goal was set for the children.

The goal being, to participate in ‘PEHCHAAN – The Identity’, the annual exhibition at IDEAL, and that too in March 2015.

This required a great deal of effort and planning, and it is here that the individual abilities of the children began to be seen, and engaged.

We had the planners, the list makers, the follow-up leaders and the motivators!! And everyone worked as a unit.




They had begun to realise, that they had to be competitive as well as creative! And creativity was not just limited to the designing of the product, but was needed in staying within budgets and in being realistic.

As the weeks rolled by, the students learnt first-hand, the importance of presentation, respect for material and more importantly, how to reduce wastage and utilise even scraps.

And with it all, the Foundation program and the Dyeing module, continued. Surely and steadily!

Mistakes were made and addressed.

Products were re-done. And finally they were ready!



21st March 2015

The Big Day – ‘PEHCHAAN – The Identity.’

The Annual exhibition at IDEAL was held in March 2015, at the Ravishankar Rawal Kala Bhavan.

Amidst all the hustle and bustle, the PARAKRAM children were involved in every aspect of the Exhibition. This included the arranging of their stations, the hanging of their pictures, learning how to talk to their guests and how to bill their clients. They were growing up and learning fast! And all of us at IDEAL, from the students to faculty to volunteers, were so proud!

Small orders followed!

The first order was by Amitaji Dalal! The children were delighted!

They were feeling the rush and momentum of a journey well begun. But more work was to follow.



A Change of pace…..

School Exams and vacations followed shortly….

Some students went home. Some continued through the summer and become woven into the pattern of our lives at IDEAL.

Over the next few months, the children too went through many changes.

For many, the Municipal schools changed and children were shifted. Some went to new schools with new timings. Some entered the Tenth standard and twelfth standard! Difficult times for all.

With this, transport and co-ordination also became a problem. But we came through, and the children continued, lesser in numbers, irregular in attendance but still there.

However, it is important to note here, that through the changes in schedules and the holiday periods in the program, many of the PARAKRAM children still chose to come to the institute on a daily basis to learn as much as they could. This was done on their free time and of their own free will without persuasion.

And this was all the incentive we needed to know for sure that the program was working and we were getting through to them.





Back to Work!

Orders were coming in for a lot of the products from the exhibition.

One of the highlights during this time was a workshop conducted in association with the AASMAN Foundation, on the IDEAL Campus.

This involved the PARAKRAM children actually teaching the volunteers and the children of the AASMAN foundation. This was a dramatic turn of events that saw our young wards going from students…to being TEACHERS themselves!

And this was so much more than we had ever expected at the start of the program.

Students, worked through the Diwali Vacation on their own volition, to finish projects and meet deadlines. More than the work itself, it was the healthy attitude towards the work that we were trying to instil.

We really appreciate all the patrons out there who had as much faith in this Project as we did. And we know you aren’t disappointed.

December 2015 saw the next Exhibition at IDEAL, titled ‘PEHCHAAN – Perceptions,’ where the PARAKRAM Children had a larger platform to exhibit their work at the Ravishankar Rawal Kala Bhavan once more! And this time, they were exhibiting ALONG WITH students of CEPT University, PDPU and IDEAL. The PARAKRAM children stood the test and succeeded with flying colours.

It was truly a memorable evening with the Artists discussing ideas and past projects with the children and great appreciation was shown for the children’s works in all the media.

YEAR 2016

Some students have been introduced to the medium of glass, with the glass programmes at IDEAL. Others are exploring techniques in Fabrics & Apparels like knitting, sewing, cutting and single garment making.

And the story goes on !




Asha Mandapa at ‘Charlotte’s End’ Book Launch in Delhi! (June 7th 2016)

We were in Delhi this week for the launch of ‘Charlotte’s End’ a novel by the amazing, lovely & multi-facetted Veena S Rao, IAS.

003_IDEAL Director, Asha Mandapa as a panellist at the launch of Charlotte's End in Delhi

Our Director, Asha Mandapa was invited as a panellist along with eminent people like Mani Shankar Aiyar (Diplomat, Author & Former Union Minister), Tom Alter (Author & Actor) & Bibek Debroy (Noted Economist & Author).

001_IDEAL Director, Asha Mandapa as a panellist at the launch of Charlotte's End in Delhi 005_IDEAL Director, Asha Mandapa as a panellist at the launch of Charlotte's End in Delhi

This eclectic group of individuals ensured a panel discussion that was as stimulating & humorous as it was interactive.

No quarters were given & none asked for!

A fun evening to say the least!

(Also available at http://www.vitastapublishing.com/2016-01-29-22-05-36/fiction/charlotte-s-end-1552-detail.html)



The Institute of Design Expression Art & Learning (IDEAL) has workshops on campus throughout the year.

These are short duration courses conducted by faculty at IDEAL as well as visiting artists. This is a constantly evolving design module. These workshops are on occasion open to the public as well & even attended by students of various Institutes.

Students belonging to different streams attend these workshops over and above their regular Diploma programmes.

These workshops aim towards making the study of art more eclectic & less restrictive, which is one of the most positive features of the pedagogy of IDEAL.

Some of the many workshops organised at IDEAL…

  • Terracotta
  • Kalamkari
  • Paper Crafting
  • Tanjore Painting
  • Calligraphy
  • Photoshop
  • Collage
  • Digital Painting
  • Lino Printing
  • Basic animation
  • Dyeing
  • Jewellery Design & application in different media
  • Introduction to the drum set (Music)