Rishikesh Mahendran is a little man with a mission.
At just 13, the Form 1 student of SMK Taman Inderawasih in Perai, Penang, produces artworks, frames and sells them, and uses the proceeds to feed the poor and the homeless.
According to his mother Thilakeswary, she first noticed his altruistic nature when he was in primary school in SJKT Perai.
"When he was in primary school, we used to give him food supplies daily, and also some money to spend.
"After some time, I realised that he was saving up the money we gave him to buy food or drinks for his underprivileged friends at school," she told Astro Ulagam.
That's when Thilakeswary got the idea to put Rishikesh's passion in arts and his selfless nature to good use.
They embarked on the "Art for Hunger by Rishi" project early last year, which involves Rishi producing three pieces of art from scratch every week, which he then sets in an A5 wooden frames, before selling them to interested buyers for RM20 each.
Rishikesh discusses the designs of his artwork with his mother, a former graphic designer, before embarking on a project.
He then uses mainly water color, combined with markers and other mediums, on his artworks, which range from abstract images to that of plants, flowers and unicorns, before the products are laminated and framed to be sold to the customers.
According to Thilakeswary, request on Rishikesh's artwork has been thus far done via word of mouth.
"We have had requests from as far as Singapore, and from the other races as well. Demand was good when we first started but it has slowed down lately, probably due to the lack of awareness about Rishikesh's initiative," she said.
Among his works of art are also tributes to frontliners who put their lives on line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can view Rishikesh's works at this Facebook page, or this Instagram account.
Requests can be made via messaging at these social media platforms or by contacing Thilakeswary at 018-3259591.
Photo source: Art for Hunger by Rishi Facebook
Mon Feb 08 2021