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Bengali kids paint to raise funds for UK’s NHS after parents survive Covid

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Bengali siblings Aditi (10) and Anisha (8) from UK’s Wolverhampton have turned their hobbies into fundraising for the National Health Service (NHS), after watching their parents suffer and survive Covid-19. Their mother, a doctor return in the NHS, has returned to saving lives after recuperating from the deadly disease.
The NHS is the umbrella term for the publicly-funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom, which was one of the worst-hit nations by the pandemic.

The Mandal sisters, encouraged by their parents who are from Kolkata, have already managed to raise hundreds of pounds by accepting donations after offering paintings and craftwork. Aditi has been interviewed by BBC and featured in local newspapers. Inspired by her sister, Anisha is now creating craftwork all day and raising money too.

Aditi, whose works reveal much of her talent, said, “I have seen how people around me have suffered during the pandemic and how NHS workers have tried to support us all during these difficult times. I have been doing a lot of art during this lockdown. I am asking people to look at my paintings and order on my mother’s mail whatever they want me to paint for them along with their postal address.” The sisters learn Bengali, music and dance.

They have managed to raise nearly a thousand pounds with the small donations they have been receiving for the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust by offering their handiwork. “We decided work hard on our hobbies and make money for the NHS trust after watching our mother Kasturi Mandal, a frontline worker at the New Cross Hospital,” said Aditi, a Year 5 students at the Woodthorne primary school.

Her sister, Anisha, studying in Year 4 in the same school, has recently started her own fundraising for the same trust by selling her own handmade jewellery. She hopes to also set up stalls to fundraise for her cause.

But the major motivation for the girls was the way their parents fought the virus. Both Kasturi, a consultant haematologist at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust, and Anandadeep Mandal, a lecturer of mathematical finance in the University of Birmingham, contracted Covid-19 and lived through it even though they were not hospitalised. With their parents in a sickbed, the girls had to look after themselves and their two-year-old sister Anushka.

“My wife is back at the hospital now and the girls are busy, doing their bit,” said Ananda, happy that the kids are helping in their small way in times of crisis.

“Our daughters have seen enough of the pandemic already, enough to make them express themselves through art and contribute to helping the NHS. They readily took part in the weekly Clap For Carers. They saw me going out to work every day before I got infected. They are seeing help patients every day now that I have recovered,” Kasturi told TOI from the UK. Aditi, she said, discovered her passion for art when she was six years old and received support her father and grandfather Pravat Mandal.

“I am willing to send soft copies of my sketches to those settled outside the UK,” said Aditi, who takes requests for artwork in lieu of donations via her “JustGiving” page, titled “Art by Aditi”. Her commissions included Beauty and the Beast, birds, portraits and landscapes. Anisha, who is following her sister’s footsteps, said, “I too have opened a webpage with my mom’s help”.

Source: Times of India

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