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PROJECTS

 

EACH ONE TEACH ONE

One of Gandhiji’s suggestions to the people to eradicate illiteracy was by the policy, “Each One Teach One”.

The late Mrs. Shakunthala Jagannathan, founder Member, started a scheme in 1997 for poor girls to be sponsored for 4 years, from the 7th to the 10 standards.  The Lady Sivaswami Iyer Girls Higher Secondary School has been selected for this project.

The Sub-Committee members for the Scheme are

Miss. M. Bargavi Devendra
Mrs. Meena Arunachalam
Mrs. Vimala Krishnamurthi

Girl children who are selected are assured of four years of quality education as well as annual scholarships to cover their expenses, all financed by the foster parents for education in English and Tamil medium. This year, those who have completed standard X are being sponsored for a further period of two years till standard XII. The girls come from very poor families such as vegetable and flower vendors and work after school as their income is required by their families.

Eight six girls have, till now, been sponsored by various citizens of Chennai who have come forward to educate the less-fortunate girl children.  Each donor is given a card with the girl’s photograph, family details, interests and other details. Those children who do not find a sponsor are sponsored by the Foundation itself. Some of the sponsors even pay for private tuitions to improve the marks of their foster children. In this way, charitably minded persons who have the money but no time are able to help poor children.

Every year, the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation organizes a function to issue the certificates to the students. The sponsors are also invited to the function and introduced to the students. So far 90 girls have been sponsored under this project.

REVIVAL OF FOLK ART FORMS IN SCHOOL

The modern school curriculum leaves little time for extra-curricular activities and as a result, children receive neither training nor exposure to the various arts and crafts.  In Tamil Nadu, the importance attached to the cinema at one end and to classical music and dance at another has resulted in the gradual disengagement of folk culture from the lives of the people. Hence, the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation took up a project on Revival of Folk Art forms in schools sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

The Foundation has covered schools in Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu, Nilgiris, Chennai, Tanjore, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur districts. In the year 2001-2002, 141 schools from Tanjore and Kanchipuram districts participated in this project. In the year 2002-2003, 263 schools from Kanchipuram and Tiruvarur participated.

The project aims to bring together folk artists and teachers, so that they can pool their skills to speak of the means of people, the wonders of nature, the urgent problems of survival and conservation on natural resources etc.

The project seeks to expose children to the finer side of education and development through revival of folk culture.

TRAINING OF KOTA, KURUMBA, PANIYA AND IRULA TRIBES IN THEIR TRADITIONAL ART FORMS

Tribal life in the Nilgiris has been affected by external influences.  Initially, it was the colonial western culture. Later, in the post independent period, India’s developmental programmes have excluded tribal arts and crafts.

In order to preserve the art forms of the tribals, the Foundation felt that it is necessary to ensure the continuity of their art. Hence the foundation has been training Kota and Kurumba, Paniya and Irula youth to revive their traditional arts of pottery making, vegetable dye painting and bamboo craft.

The Foundation has trained several Kota women in pottery and Kurumba youth in painting. Their creative endeavour has been channelized during the training to bring out viable product, to fetch a commercial return.

Foundation has organized exhibitions and sales of their products in metropolitan cities like Chennai and Mumbai with due media coverage.

z Kurumbas have become artists
z Kota women have become terracotta artists

SURVEY AND DOCUMENTATION OF ARTS & CRAFTS OF THE KOTA, KURUMBA, IRULA AND PANIYA TRIBES OF THE NILGIRIS

The Nilgiris are designated as a tribal district since they shelter different tribal groups. While every tribe has a specialisation and the unique character, it is decided to survey four tribes initially under this project, the Paniya, Kota, Irulas and Kurumbas.

Each tribe has a specific role to play in the hill area, leading to a specialization in their arts and crafts. For example, the Todas do cane work, embroidery and woodcarving, Kotas make pottery, iron items, carpentry and musical instruments, Irulas and Paniyas create instrumental music and Kurumbas are graphic artists

The purpose of this Documentation is an urgent need to carry out such a survey because the older members of each tribe are passing away.  For example, there is only one potter left among the Kotas, only one artist among the Kurumbas and so on.  If these people pass away without leaving any documentation of their work, it is unlikely that the coming generations – even their own successors - will ever know about their heritage.

The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs & Sports, Department of Culture, Government of India.

CLEAN CHENNAI - GREEN CHENNAI

The school curriculam does not have provision to imbibe the changing phenomena in the state of environment from year to year. The project aimed to create awareness among the students and teachers about pollution, the hazards and the remedial measures.

Aims and Objectives

The primary object of this project is to educate students, about what is pollution, how to control it and the various health problems created by pollution and the agencies to which common man has a right for a clean environment. This project was carried out by conducting workshops for teachers and school students.

As the project title needed exhaustive coverage of Chennai, entire Madras city from Virugambakkam to Santhome, Avadi to Tiruvanmiyoor, Anna Nagar to Tambaram, Triplicane to Royapuram. - One or two schools from all these areas were participants in the teachers’ workshops.

Teaching Aids & Resource materials distributed are distributed to teachers and students during the workshops.

Teachers and students of Chennai schools are taught the history of Chennai, its growth and pollution problems in this project which is sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Programmes for teachers, students and field activities are important components of this programme.

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN (NEAC)

The National Environmental Awareness Campaign (NEAC) was launched by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India during the year 1985-86. NEAC is one of the major programmes of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to involve public participation in conservation and management of the environment.

The main motive of the programme is to create awareness among the public and make environmental protection a people’s movement, so that each and every citizen of this country should be involved in the protection of the environment. The local environmental problems must be highlighted during the programme to find a long and lasting solution for them.

To begin with only 150 NGOs participated throughout the country. Today more than 4000 NGOs, from all over the country participate in the NEAC programme. The theme for the NEAC is decided by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India every year.

The NEAC is a very vast and widespread outreach programme involving several sections of society and reaching down to the grassroot level.  This has been made possible because of the decentralized process. The Regional Resource Agencies (RRAs) know and work with many of the NGOs on environmental protection. The flexibility of the interaction between the RRAs and the participating organizations makes the programme creative and workable in spite of the vast numbers involved.

The NEAC has thrown up some very creative programmes and useful resource materials, both from the participating RRAs and NGOs.  The NEAC has also been a means of understanding which process reaches the people in the most effective way. Thus performing arts are preferred to lectures, cycle rallies are better than seminars. What is common among the preferred processes is the low cost, entertainment value and easy accessibility and comprehensibility.

There is a definite perception of change:  NGOs believe that deforestation has decreased in Western Orissa, environmental activism has grown in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and tribal and rural communities have become jealous guardians of their natural resources.  There are several environmental “success” stories attributed to the awareness generated by the NEAC.

The C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Chennai was chosen by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India in 1992-93 to function as the RRA for Tamilnadu and Pondicherry.  The Foundation has been appointed as the RRA for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands also from the year 2000-2001. Over 300 NGOs are sanctioned under this scheme every year.

The details of NGOs applied and NGOs selected in Tamilnadu, Pondicherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been shown below:

 

Sl.No.

Year

No. of NGOs applied

No. of NGOs selected

Districts covered

1.

1995-1996

560

233

23

2.

1996-1997

430

198

23

3.

1997-1998

574

234

30

4.

1998-1999

427

204

30

5.

1999-2000

526

228

30

6.

2000-2001

714

289

31

7.

2001-2002

815

339

32

8.

2002-2003

889

433

31

 

RESEARCH IN INDIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

 

Every year the C.P.R. Institute of Indolgical Research sponsors two projects that are surveyed, studied and then published. Current projects under publication are