Baylor’s ISSA chapter to host virtual painting fundraiser

Students can join Baylor’s Indian Subcontinent Student Association chapter for a night of painting fun to benefit literacy learning in Pakistan and India. Photo courtesy of Swati H. Das (

By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer

Baylor’s Indian Subcontinent Student Association (ISSA) is hosting their first Mandala Painting Fundraiser, held virtually Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30.

In the Zoom call, participants will be painting mandalas. In Sanskrit, the meaning of “mandala” is circle, and in Buddhism and Hinduism, it represents the universe.

According to Indimode, “the circular designs symbolizes the idea that life is never ending and everything is connected, and that the mandala “also represents spiritual journey within the individual viewer.”

San Ramon, Calif., sophomore, Ritz Battula, is one of the current Gateway To India Chair of Baylor’s ISSA chapter.

“Those who RSVP will have an opportunity to bring out their inner artist and also be able to have casual discussions with each other,” Battula said. “My favorite part of the fundraiser is being able to do something that is not solely virtual, and I am also excited to see everyone’s finished masterpieces.”

Battula explained that she proposed the event to her fellow officers and that they were excited and loved the idea as it was a fundraiser that they had never done before.

“As someone who is very artsy, I wanted to host a painting fundraiser for our philanthropy, Developments in Literacy,” Battula said. “As we marketed it via social media, many people RSVP’d.”

Upon sign up, participants will be asked by ISSA to pay via Venmo $8 for the painting supplies, which includes a canvas, a small bottle of black acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a bottle of puffy paint and a bag to hold all the supplies.

Painting materials for the fundraiser will be bagged separately into individual packaging, and delivered to those the day before or the day of the event to those who filled out the RSVP form, which can be found online. The proceeds from the art supply bags will be presented to the organization’s philanthropy, Developments in Literacy (DIL).

Battula said that their philanthropy, DIL, is motivated to improving education to those disadvantaged children by creating and running new school systems and that the organization has placed emphasis on “community involvement and gender equality in the underdeveloped regions of Pakistan and India.”

Sioux Falls, S.D., senior Maham Shah, this year’s ISSA president, said as of last Sunday that 15 people, both ISSA and non-ISSA members, had signed up for the fundraiser.

“I am very much looking forward to this event and believe that this will be a great way to fundraise for DIL,” she said.

Shah said that she loves ISSA because it has become her “home away from home.”

“I am passionate about ISSA because this organization provided me with a cultural connection at Baylor to showcase to members and nonmembers our culture, heritage and our presence on campus,” she said.

Battula said the relationships made in Baylor’s ISSA chapter is something to be grateful for.

“I have been part of ISSA since my first semester at Baylor and I am so grateful for ISSA because it has led to make amazing friendships,” Battula said.