While the #10YearChallenge is taking over online world with an overload of images, when it comes to offline things, there are few that can survive the test of time. Among them is the Sanskriti Foundation which was registered 10 years ago, in 2008, and has shaped up really well. One of the youngest cultural organisations, it has made a remarkable impact in the field of Indian culture and music and dance.
Sanskriti was founded in 2005 and registered in 2008 by DVK Vasudevan (ViloinVasu) a violinist, music teacher, researcher, who clearly believes that our country has a special and wonderful culture which no other has in the world. Vasu also feels ‘why adopt the western culture when we have our own’ and believes that the richness of our culture should be passed on to the gen-next.
“I always wanted to do something to protect our culture, and I clearly know that at individual level, we can do only certain things. And for things that cannot be done alone, but if an organisation is formed, then, it will have more impact as there are many to run it and take care of the day-to-day functioning. It’s more of a team work than of an individual. Initially, we started as Gurukulam, along with my friend, and, later, registered it as ‘Sanskriti Foundation’ and now Gurukulam is part of this foundation,” says Vasu, who was awarded the Outstanding Artistes Research Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, which is given to artistes with potential in undertaking research activities in music.
The board members of Sanskriti Foundation include Vasudevan Narayanan Kutty as the president, TLN Swamy as the vice-president, Krishna and Venu Dorairaj are the secretaries. An inspiration to many, this foundation brought together like-minded volunteering families who come from diverse backgrounds. “I have been a part of this wonderful organisation for the past four years. I came into this because of my kid, to make him learn music. Like me, there are nearly 100 families who are with the foundation,” says the secretary, Venu Dorairaj, who works in Amazon.
Sanskriti has done many projects in the past and a few are continuing. To name a few, there is Gurukulam, where the traditional art forms are taught, encouraged and researched. The second one is the Sabarmati project, which was a series of ad hoc workshops popularising Mahatma Gandhiji’s bhajans to inculcate strong character in people. And this project has directly covered about one lakh children, juveniles, and prisoners till date. Their third project is the Chenetha, which was started in 2010, and is an initiative to promote and facilitate Indian handicrafts, handlooms and cuisines. This is an effort to associate the society with our own culture and tradition, besides directly helping local weavers and artisans.
Hyderabad Thyagaraja Aaradhana Music festival (HTAMF), which has made its own mark in the cultural aspects, is a prestigious project of Sanskriti. “This is the fourth year that the programme is being conducted, but, I should say that, initially, only four families supported this programme. Now, our family has grown and spread to global level with people coming forward to donate,” says Vasu.
The aim of this festival is to keep up the culture, support and contribute to local artistes, upcoming and student concerts, stalwarts’ concerts, enabling children to see big artistes performing. This is a cohesive platform, which builds interest among people in Carnatic music.
To ensure that one shows respect to gurus, the festival makes sure to felicitate a guru who has done phenomenal work in his/her respective field. “This year, Guru Sanmaanam is being done to mridangam maestro V Kamalakar Rao,” says Venu.
The beauty of Sanskriti Foundation is that each individual, capable in one’s own field, does some good work and also promotes in the social media. “People who are creative and good with drawing, animation, editing, writing, creating a design or logo, etc., are the ones behind the beautiful creative works that are visible in social media. Because of their background, they are able to bring out things better; five-six people are working towards that. It’s team effort and unity in diversity. And the result is helping us,” says Venu.
Sanskriti has many more plans for future, the major project being – starting a school and introducing traditional classical music to students. “We are planning an eco-friendly village, which consists of its own dairy farm; here, we are looking for like-minded people who strive to keep up the culture. This project may take shape in a few years down the lane,” concludes Vasu, who looks forward to ‘making a difference’. #KhabarLive