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  project name ~ 2011 Ravindra Sharma Saathiship

category ~ Saathi




  Project Name


2011 Ravindra Sharma Saathiship



Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti









Andhra Pradesh

  Budget Approved


Rs 211500


  Year Approved







  Chapter Coordinators


Reety Arora
Sushant Sachdeva
Niket Agarwal











This is year 3 of Guruji Ravindra Sharmas Saathiship.

For past 2 decades, Ravindra Sharma (fondly referred to by everyone as Guruji) has been working with artisans in the Adilabad district of AP and is the founder of Kala Ashram. Kala Ashram is meant to be a resting place for traditional arts, science and technology. Guruji himself is an encyclopeadia of information about the traditional rural Indian arts, science, and society.

For an article about Gurujis work in the AID newsletters, please see





Report for 2009-2010 This is the third year of Ravindra Sharma’s saathiship. During this year Ravindra sharma (fondly known as Guruji) has hosted many volunteers from all over India in his Kala Ashram in Adialabad. The year started off with a “Mitra Milan program” in March, which is an annual event at the Kala ashram. This event coincides with Yugadi/Ugadi, New year’s day for the deccan states of Andra Pradesh and Karnataka. This is a non agenda ashram gathering of 3 days where people gather from all over India and stay within the ashram and talk and discuss about various issues. A prevailing topic of conversation this year was the concept of Bhiksha and why it as sustained in India over the years. Following this IIT Hyderabad took initiative in facilitating establishing Kala Ashram as a Gram Gyan Peeth, a seat of rural knowledge. Information on various aspects of the life and avocation of rural artisans and craftsmen across the country will be compiled into ‘Karigar shastras’ which will serve as repositories of traditional rural technologies. In Guruji’s opinion, a useful and healthy relationship betweens the artisans and society can be possible in the future only if previous knowledge can be saved and documented for posterity and hence he is very happy about this endeavour. During summer various groups visited the ashram including teachers from sociology backgrounds, government representatives of the rural department , etc. Guruji also visited National Institute of Design (NID) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), where he gave several workshops on his philosophy of how design should be a solution for the survival of society. In November a few days after Deepawali and before poornima there is a festival around the area called Dev-deepavali where kala ashram celebrates Deepasna. During this time the whole town of Adilabad is lit with lakhs and lakhs of lamps and lights. This again is an annual celebration where all the local artisans come together and participate. There are exhibitions at the ashram as well and this year the wood work makes will be on display. This summary of the year was made after compiling a series of conversations on the phone with Guruji Ravindra Sharma.





There are three major components in Guruji''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s work: 1) Kala Ashram''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s museum also serves as a resource base for artists and artisans who do not have access to tools and accessories. For instance, the Dakkalodu or the community historian of the Maadiga (leather crafting) community in the Adilabad region often borrows his musical instruments and the scroll from the museum to perform to his local audience. These scrolls, painted by the Naquashi community, are expensive and take years to prepare. 2) Karigar gurukuls: Every year, Guruji organizes karigar gurukuls, where artisans improve or innovate techniques, pass them on to younger members of their community, or teach them to groups belonging to other communities. 3) Study of traditional social organization: Guruji has been observing and studying the traditional social organization, and one recent effort is to document/record the dying arts of the Bhiksha vruttis, who sing/tell the oral history of other castes, while living off their patronage. 4) Documentation: Guruji intends to document much of his understanding of traditional arts, science, technology and social organization in the form of booklets. He also intends to document many of the activities of Kala Ashram such as the workshops and the performances of the Bhiksha vruttis.



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