KALA RAKSHA means "Art Preservation." The Trust aims to preserve traditional arts of the region by making them culturally and economically viable. Trust activities are artisan driven. Without artisans there can be no traditional arts. As far as possible, positions from office managers, to coordinators to tailors are drawn from the immediate local communities. The Trust provides training as needed to make this possible. KALA RAKSHA encourages community members to work together toward the goal of self sufficiency. Generating income through their traditions, community members can realize their strengths and maintain their identity as they develop. To contribute to Kala Raksha, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/content/search.html?q=kala+raksha).
My Life Story in Short:
Kala Raksha Trust, a grassroots social enterprise, is dedicated to preservation of traditional arts. We envision this broadly, as holistic encouraging of the creative capacity of the artist.
Comprising artisans, community members, and experts in the fields of art, design and museums, Kala Raksha was founded on artisan initiative in 1993 in the desert region Kutch, in India.
Uniquely committed to documenting existing traditions, the Trust maintains a collection of heirloom textiles housed as a local Museum. Artisans participated in establishing this Museum. Thus it embodies a simple but revolutionary concept: involve people in presenting their own cultures.
Artisan initiative and participation continue to be the pillars of Kala Raksha's work. Artisan Design Committees create exquisite contemporary work based in their traditions. Artisan Pricing Committees establish fair wages. Finally, artisans participate in sale of their work, linking them directly to their market.
Kala Raksha produces some of the most exquisitely hand embroidered and patch worked products made in Kutch. Using only natural fibers and wherever possible natural dyes, the Trust makes a wide range of garments, accessories and home furnishings.
Income generation is the beginning of comprehensive development. Kala Raksha artisans also attend integrated Preventive Health Care and Basic Education Programs. In 2005, our education initiative blossomed into Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, the first institution of design for traditional artisans.
Honoree of the 2001 International Responsible Tourism Showcase, Kala Raksha Centre is located in Sumrasar Sheikh, 25 km north of Bhuj. Here, the museum, production unit, shop and guest house inhabit structures that adapt traditional architecture to contemporary function. A model for community development, the Centre is locally managed and operates with solar power.
What Kala Raksha preserves is the essence of art. Traditions are preserved when they flourish.
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