TODAY -

Let the child LIVE!!!

Mayanglambam Merina *

 A Painting Competition for children by EMA (European Manipuri Association) at Borstal, Kent in the UK :: 14th November 2015
A Painting Competition for children by EMA (European Manipuri Association) on 14th November 2015



Innocent hands muddling in muddy water...
parched boats made from newspapers..
sailing down the local nalla
those were the days which we still treasure deep down in our hearts


The only painting we were made familiar was to draw hills beautifully surrounded with finely chopped medium size trees on the foothills and then the river stream gently paving its way through those maiden hills down the village.

How many of us have seriously drawn such pictures just to get good marks? How many of us have seriously drawn it from our heart directly into those white papers ???

The present pandemic has started crawling into our heads and our minds. It has started invading our given social spaces be it socially and psychologically to a large extent..

Going outside and getting things for the family has now become a robotic act . As if we all are tuned to go-comeback and wash our clothes – than take a bath. Life has become like a reel to be get over.

Cases of suicides coming in headlines and making our day muskier with a heavy thought lingering in all our minds. In this juncture after thinking a lot I strongly believe that Music, Dance and Art therapy .. in short I call it as “MAD” therapy would surely do some kind of miracles in all our lives.

We do know that it has done wonders. Why not use such things during this time in all our Quarantine Centres by letting all the Quarantine Centre inmate express their vivid thoughts through such medium? My experience way back during Tsunami 2004 where some of us volunteered to help during that time.

Some of us didn’t know the local language , despite of that we formed a psychosocial support team and started teaching the childrens some rhymes, some songs . They also taught us some local games. Our 2004-2006 batch did volunteer. There were days we even fought with the District collector for not giving proper water and food to the victims.

Coming to the point where I would like to stress more on the intrinsic importance of Music and Art therapy which we land up experimenting right in the field. We made all the children put their creativity on sand my making huts, schools.

Some did draw well and explained the pain which they had gone through during Tsunami. Some just forgot their past and just made things from their courtyard sand and coconut leaves. After retiring from the days engagement our energy used to get drenched.

Since I had a classical music background I somehow land up singing and which started helping our minds .Yes we did apply it and it worked. I used my “Allaaaps” to healed my friends to some extent.

After this episode I started doing some research on Music ,Art and Dance therapy and how does it heals stress, depression and anxiety.

My practical experience was just within oneself and I got an opportunity to express and heal more when I was given a chance to conduct a workshop at Sana Sangoi, yaiskul. Then my innate crave for this started evolving around. My purpose for stating such incidents was soley to give and idea on how one should absorb MUSIC and Art therapy during this physical and social distancing period.

For Music therapy either to put some instrumental music in all the Quarantine Centres which would surely soothes all the inmates. Since Music has no boundary nor a definite language to its listeners.

Things we need: a loudspeaker , instrumental music downloaded from a mobile phone of the guards or incharge played in a normal volume.

For Art Therapy : Drawing papers or books with small pencil colours should be distributed to all QC ....those who draw will surely benefit and those who don’t do it’s their problem.

Benefits of Art Therapy:

1) It will soothes ones own emotion and when one starts sketching or colouring it does make one’s self happier.
2) For those who are far from their families and who are going through such phase they could start expressing their thoughts in a creative way...
3) This arts could be later complied if the Govt wants to make a ‘narrative album on Covid warriors’..by naming it like ‘ An art by the Covid-warriors’

Art Therapy can help on mental and physical health.

It helps reduce pain, decrease symptoms of stress and improve quality of life in adult cancer patients.Improved ability to deal with pain and other frightening symptoms in children with cancer.Reduced stress and anxiety in children with asthma.

Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensory motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.

Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. ... Art and music affect every cell in the body instantly to create a healing physiology that changes the immune system and blood flow to all the organs. Art and Music also immediately change a person’s perceptions of their world.

My appeal to the concern authority is to imbibe this method at the earliest. Who knows we could save more lives by making them emotionally stronger. This therapy would literally help children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability.

Let’s start this small step...let’s save more lives.....let’s try this out...any suggestion on this I would like to encourage.


* Mayanglambam Merina wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on July 12 2020 .



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