http://fridaymagazine.ae/features/people/friday-changed-our-lives-1.1333419?fb_action_ids=781859165160612&fb_action_types=og.likesThis Friday my hope was renewed that if we put our heart and mind to some thing it will happen. I hope I can continue making a difference.


‘I’m so happy my art is helping needy people’ Minakhee Mishra, 39, is basedin Karama, Dubai Putting down her copy of Friday, Minakhee Mishra was in tears. “It was one of the most moving stories I’d ever read,” the artist remembers. She is referring to a feature [May 31, 2013] dealing with Narayanan Krishnan, a chef in a five-star hotel in Chennai, India, who quit his job to feed and
 care for mentally ill people who were living on the streets of Madurai, in southern India.

“In some ways the story was my tipping point,” she says. “I’d always wanted to do my bit for society, but I didn’t know how to go about it. This story shocked me into action.”

Mother-of-two Minakhee decided to do a series of paintings and then auction them off and give the proceeds to charity. “I am an ardent reader of Friday and have been for the past nine years,” she explains. “I find the Making a Difference section especially motivating – it may sound like a cliché but those stories really do inspire people to do something for others.” A talented artist, who has held several exhibitions of her work in Dubai, Minakhee started on a set of still life paintings.
“I wanted to use art to raise money to help needy people such as Syrian refugees or low-paid workers in the UAE so they could buy some gifts for their families back home, pay for their children’s education or for specialist medical treatment for those who required it.
“After reading that moving article 
I spoke to a few friends of mine who volunteer for charities and told them what I was planning to do. They all encouraged me to get going. They 
were sure that my initiative would
 be a success.”
Minakhee participated in group shows at the Ahmedia Gallery in Deira for charity, and also exhibited her work at a pre-event for a concert by well-known Indian musician Pandit Jasraj. “At another charity auction to raise funds for Syrian victims, two of my paintings were sold for Dh2,500 each,” says Minakhee. “It felt just great to contribute to the cause. I have to thank Friday
for motivating me.”

“I also participated in a live painting session at the Street Night Art event at Al Quoz in January to help raise money for poor Indian workers in
Dubai. All 
the artists who participated painted
 on the 2x2m installation that was put up for auction,” she adds. “It was while I was participating in such events that I realised that one can help the less fortunate in so many different ways. “I don’t know how many people 
I have helped through the sale of my paintings, but if it is even one family then I am happy.”


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