Manasi kirloskar: The Social Entrepreneur

Women's Day Special Coverage on a lifestyle of a Social Entrepreneur who started her social works at the age of 14!
Manasi kirloskar: The Social Entrepreneur!

Mansi Kirloskar is a successful entrepreneur and the changing face of her company’s success. She is Executive Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd and Director on the board of Kirloskar Technologies Ltd and Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd.

She also runs an NGO called Caring With Colours, which brings art within the reach of children from underprivileged backgrounds. Her remarkable entrepreneurial journey is built on her firm conviction of her abilities and goals.

As a GenNext Business Icon, Manasi has made her mark with her innovative and contemporary business ideas. Manasi has also ventured into her own enterprises in the real estate, rural development and social sectors.

Since an early age, Manasi has showcased her innovative entrepreneurship skills and her passion for social good. Apart from academics, where she was the recipient of several awards, her passion lied in art and social entrepreneurship.

Manasi Inner 1

Manasi kirloskar: The Social Entrepreneur!

These passions were fostered at an early age. At 14, Manasi started teaching art to the underprivileged and government schools in association with NGO’s like Concern India, Family Services, Akshara Foundation etc. Aptly named ‘Caring with Colors’, she started a program with an NGO, where she taught lesser privileged children arts & crafts at school. The creative work from these kids was framed and put up for sale in art exhibitions. Manasi was fronting all the activities and sponsorships for her ‘Caring with Colors’ program from a very young age. During her high school at Singapore’s United World College, Manasi won an award for community service. She also traveled to Cambodia from her school for Community Service work – building bridges.

As Manasi says, “I was born into and live an extremely privileged life. Not short of anything material or emotional. With a large wonderful supportive family. I have been highly sensitized to the environment around me since a very very young age. I saw people and little children who go without even one proper meal a day, no shelter, living in abusive circumstances, fighting for a one rupee coin, residing on the streets adjusting to weather changes, with no choices, no hope for betterment. I somehow felt the responsibility of putting some time and effort on working for the lesser privilege.”

Manasi thought that she would use her exceptional skills in art and design to work for these lesser privileged children. She wanted to utilize a part of her skill sets to their benefit. That was her vision.

She thus started teaching Art at Govt. Primary schools at the age of 14 at Bangalore. In association with NGO’s like Concern India, Family Services, Crystal House, Akshara Foundation.  She found whilst taking these art and creative classes with these little children, that they were most talented and had an exceptional sense of color!

Quite surprizing since they came from dark backgrounds, dingy living conditions and abject poverty, no cheer and hence no color in their lives! They loved her art classes and lessons at their schools, it brought out a positivity in them. Gave them a sense of joy and literally color in their lives! They produced very interesting concepts in art and color. Including drawings, craft, collages, and even painting on small ceramic pots!

Manasi integrated Camlin Company and Asian Paints in some of her lessons as sponsors for the art material. This was more to spread wider the act of giving to these children and inculcate wider interest.   Also, partnerships and sponsors are a proof of concept!

Manasi Kirloskar appropriately titled her initiative and effort as – “Caring with Colours”!

Manasi used to exhibit the drawings/paper collages/painting on pots/craft work/even painting on T-shirts taught to these children under her teaching and training. The money collected by her at these exhibitions organized by her was used by Manasi to give to the NGO’s/lesser privileged children schools to buy computers, food, and maintenance of the premises. Manasi worked with the NGOs and the schools to ensure the funds were utilized appropriately.

At the age of 15, she made a short film covering the children and their art classes taught by her. This film hoped to showcase the efforts and responses of the children, thereby motivating other privileged youngsters to put efforts to use their individual skills in giving back to those less fortunate.

Manasi believes that a visual art program done in a structured way in schools for the lesser privileged have a strong impact on their psychological and mental development. Given that these children come from very poor backgrounds, and lead dark lives, they naturally learn negative values. These visual art classes will help to build their personality, self-esteem and confidence and values of sharing, honesty, trust, dignity. Manasi integrated this kind of training to them in her visual art classes.

On how a rag picker at the New Delhi Railway station became a world class celebrity photographer because an NGO taught him arts and photography!

The Effects of Art on the Brain of an Underprivileged Child – there is growing evidence why art can fill a lot of color in the lives of underprivileged children and help them equate themselves with normal kids.

Manasi Inner 2

After completing her Graduation from the world reputed Rhode Island School of Design, Boston, USA, Manasi Kirloskar returned home, with plans to scale up her community service work as above and institutionalize it to scale it up. A more organized and structured effort will have greater and wider results.

Therefore, young Manasi has formed her own NGO, calling it “Caring with Colours”!

Believing that visual arts will have a strong impact on these less privileged children’s development. Improving values of team work, convergent thinking, motor skills and problem-solving.

Further helping them in academia and their day to day lives, which sadly do not provide them with an environ conducive to the development of a strong emotional base and value system. They will then emerge as stronger and more productive Indians. Contributing to the national workforce and stability.

Manasi will work hard through this NGO to establish visual art classes in the schools for the lesser privileged. Developing a specific syllabus that she has structured and training art teachers to impart these classes, including teaching values of sharing, trust, teamwork amongst such children. So that they are exposed to a certain value system from the very start, denied to them in their environ.

Manasi also hopes that her NGO will inspire other privileged youngsters to start community service work a very young age, using their exceptional skills. Instead of only committing to such acts of giving when they become CEOs of companies or when they age and want to give back! She believes the privileged amongst us can take life up with a genuine sense of service and give back. She believes that her efforts must also create a strong awareness amongst private and privileged public schools to have a class on Community Service as an integral part of High School curriculum (already happening though)

Her NGO can explore newer and scalable ways of imparting art education to the lesser privileged children through partnerships with Skill India and NSDC etc.   By creating and showcasing a successful model, garner support from large organizations through innovative concepts like Colour- A – Thon (under 2% mandatory CSR spend) in addition to the obvious ones like Camel, Asian Paints, Fevicol.

The Art and Craft produced by these children, will be showcased for sale at small exhibitions like Manasi used to have to raise funds for them, but also through her NGO in a more organized way now using the Digital platform – through a custom app based platform (nationally / internationally).

Creating a small feedback mechanism and at the same time help the kids and the mission becomes self-sufficient. Who knows, like the rag picker Vicky Roy who became a celebrity photographer thanks to being rehabilitated by an NGO with art and photography classes conducted by them for such street children, NGO Caring for Colours through the above digital platform can provide exposure to their art and creative works, building the more skilled amongst them into successful professionals in creative fields

There are many more ideas. A structured organized and scalable model for her community service in the form of her NGO “Caring with Colours” will enable young Manasi Kirloskar to cover a wider base and spread the good word. Giving measurable results, consistently.

 To conclude:

For Manasi Kirloskar, community service has been an ongoing effort, blending naturally with her Painting and her day to day living.

While at High School at Singapore’s United World College Manasi won an award for community service. She traveled to Cambodia from her school for Community Service work – building bridges. She learned and saw the trauma undergone by the people under the regime of the dictator and its impact felt even to this day. She met a very old lady whose facial lines and expression in her eyes expressed the torture and the trauma. Picked up by Manasi’s highly sensitized mind, manifested in a large Oil on Canvas painting made by her of this old lady, on her return. (Image of this painting enclosed. Manasi had taken a photograph of this old lady at Cambodia, she projected it on her Studio wall back at home and painted her portrait from that image at the age of 17.)

This year end Manasi travels through Vietnam, mostly hiking, meeting with villagers and living with them.

These experiences are a part of her daily life. Giving her the exposure and sensitivity to the diverse forms and manifestations of the circumstances and lives of those less fortunate.


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