St. Louis Children's Hospital - CANstruction

CANstruction Mural of Embracing Diversity


We live in a world today where Diversity is increasingly becoming an integral part of life. United States have has become more diverse than it ever has been. The changing times and environment has put greater significance on the need to embrace diversity.


Bal Vihar of St. Louis has been part of the inter-faith community of St. Louis partnering with other inter faith groups. The youths of Bal Vihar have been carrying the message to the wider community that we need to embrace diversity and create equal opportunity for our younger generations. Bal Vihar has always been a bearer of theme – “Unity in Diversity”. The growing popularity of this inter-faith initiative has drawn increasing interest.


This year Bal Vihar of St. Louis partnered with Interfaith Quest Organization and St. Louis Children’s Hospital to create a Mural of Cans with the theme of embracing diversity that symbolizes caring, helping, healing and giving. Staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital embrace diversity by acknowledging cultural characteristics of our patients and their families, which enables us to provide world class care for all regardless of race, ethnicity, language, gender, gender identity, age, socioeconomic class, national origin, mental and physical impairment, sexual orientation, education and religion


It takes a great zeal and effort to get such a large initiative through fruition. A lot of preparatory work takes place before the mural is put together. Bal Vihar youths under the expert guidance of Shoba Shekar put together a design for what the finished CANstruction will look like. Hours of research goes into what kind of cans are needed, color of labels, looks and so on.


On Sunday, October 28th, 2018, a group of about 30 Bal Vihar and Interfaith Quest from Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faith. The crew arrived at noon and soon got to work. It took over 8 hours of effort that was a clear display of unity in diversity across children from various faiths to complete the display.


This mural will be on display for viewing at the St. Louis children hospital lobby for the month of November, after which the cans will be donated to Operation Food Search. This is a great way utilize the cans and reach out. Schnucks supported the project by discounting the cost of cans and delivering them to the site of construction.


Center for Indian Cultural Education - Bal Vihar of St. Louis is a cultural school designed to promote, instill, and foster Indian culture in children ages 5 to 18.  Bal Vihar encourages the youth group (ages 13 and above) to participate in activities that promote respect and understanding of different cultures and religion.  Bal Vihar has been in existence since 1992 and its current enrollment is over 400 students. Our website is