Old bottles find a new lease of life thanks to Sandra Reju’s artwork
Sandra Suzanne Reju, 14 years old, is a student at Navajeevan Special School in Kochi. Sandra, who is passionate about art, has made art from over 30 old bottles. Her bottle works are unique and beautiful. A learning disability has not stopped this youngster from chasing her love for art.
Step inside Sandra Suzanna Reju’s home in Kochi, and you wouldn’t miss the beautiful art works created on bottles. This 14-year-old, who is a student at Navajeevan Special School was diagnosed with a learning disability a few years back. But that has never become a barrier for this youngster to pursue her love for art. Sandra paints beautifully on her bottles, makes crafts on them and gifts it to her loved ones too.
Sandra’s parents Reju and mother Shalini are very supportive of their daughter. Reju remembers that Sandra was first admitted in a regular school, but she couldn’t cope up with academics. Eventually, teachers and other children started to blame her which took an emotional toil over her. This continued till she was in class 6.
Soon, the family decided to consult her to a specialist and that is how Sandra had her first evaluation with a clinical psychologist.
“School was very hard for Sandra and she refused to attend school. The constant emotional harassment had a deep effect on her. Once she was diagnosed with a learning disability, we realized that she must get help accordingly. A friend of mine suggested Navajeevn Special School and that is how Sandra became a part of the school”, says Reju.
Currently, Sandra cannot be happier. She has made some amazing friends and is having the best school days at Navajeevan where they promote creative skills too.
Tryst with bottle art
“Since a very long time, I loved working on bottles. I love painting, designing them with paper and so on”, says Sandra.
Give her any old bottle and she recycles it in the most beautiful manner. Sandra uses paints, glass, coconut and sea shells, broken old CD’s, paper and what not to make her bottles look ravishing!
“During the lockdown, she had more time in hand. So she started exploring newer designs and Sandra is totally loving it. She has become an expert already”, says Reju.
Though Sandra is busy with online classes since past one month, she finds enough time to work on bottle art. Called ‘Sandra’s Wonderland’, her parents hope that the beautiful bottles get sold to a good clientele. “Sandra has been gifting all her bottles to her loved ones. But we feel she can sell them too”, says Reju.
Ask Sandra what she wants to become when she grows up and pat comes the reply. “I want to be an artist. I want to learn more about bottle art and maybe build a career on it”, she says.
Her parents do not pressurise her when it comes to academics. Instead, they let her choose the path she wants to. Her enthusiasm and love for bottle art is something they hope she can work on.
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