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  project name ~ 2009-ravindrasharma-saathiship

category ~ Saathi




  Project Name





Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti









Andhra Pradesh

  Budget Approved


$ 4500


  Year Approved








  Chapter Coordinators


Arun SP
Niket Agarwal












This is year 2 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





For the last year or so, Guruji has been traveling to different parts of the country to advise groups about how to work with karigars (artisans). In November 2008, there will be a large gathering of the karigar panchayat (a nationwide collective of groups that are working for karigars, plus many karigars themselves) called "Sahyadri Kala Mahotsav". Guruji has been busy preparing for this for the last several months.





There are four 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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