Tamil Nadu Rural Arts Development Centre


Contact: +91 9842148423; +91 8667005907
Postal address: 101, Jawans Building, West Veli Street, 625001 Madurai Tamil Nadu
Geographic Coverage of NGO’s expertise: India

Year of creation: 1987

Safeguarding measures:

- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement
- transmission, (non-)formal education
- revitalization

Main areas of work related to the Convention:

The organization was founded by the highly motivated youth who worked for the institutionalization and proper recognition of the filed of education as folk art in Tamilnadu with an objective to impart cultural skills to young boys and girls in an educational environment in a formal school setting. In his endeavor, he received fullest cooperation and support from the district administration and named after Tamilnadu Rural Arts Development Centre headed by the Commissioner of Madurai Corporation. Prior to this, it was functioning as a non registered body in the name of “Institute of Folk Arts and Dances” since 1987. Then it got its legal registration in the year 1991 and it is the first institution with proper syllabus on folk arts in its kind. During those days, it was imparting “Master Craftsman Training” course which was then converted as institutionalized Training on a particular Trade “Folk arts”. This paved a way to coin a course curriculum and imparted with a certificate and diploma through the government sponsored programs called TRYSEM by DRDA. Thus it has started with a vision to impart trainings on folk arts and later developed its area of functioning with conducting Festivals and seminars on folk subjects regularly and participate in programs of local, state and national levels. BROAD CLASIFICATIONS OF OUR ACTIVITIES: 1.TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT. 2.CONDUCT FESTIVALS AND SEMINARS. 3.PARTICIPATE PROGRAMS AND EVENTS. 4.EXTEND AND FACILITATE TO OBTAIN WELFARE FACILITIES / AWARDS TO THE FOLK ARTISTS. 5. ORGANISE THE FOLK ARTISTS TO PROTECT THE ART FORMS. Major activities: 1. Conducting certificate courses and trainings on folk arts among village youths on the folk arts on the land of Tamilnadu. 2. Disseminate and make aware of the public on intangible cultural heritage of Tamilnadu i.e. the folk arts of the land through festivals and seminars. 3. Recognize the folk artists through awards to encourage their talents on intangible cultural heritage of Tamilnadu. 4. Help the individual artists to obtain the grants and aids to procure music instruments and art materials. 5. Extend and help to get the welfare facilities available from the government such as “ house patta” i.e approved free land to construct house, free music instrument, art materials, identity cards, membership subscription to welfare board, loan facilities-bank linkages etc., 6.Train the aspiring individuals on the folk art and help them to earn their livelihoods ( obtained certificate of appreciation for this initiatives from the district collector). 7. Conduct part time training programs to school and college going students on folk arts and thereby imbibe them with cultural consciousness and involvement. 8. Participated every year since 1994 in national Communal Harmony and national integration- cultural programs organized by Government of India with folk artists consisting 25 in a team and received awards every year. 9. Take the culture of Tamilnadu to different states of India since 1990. 10. Participated actively with 1250 artists in South Asian Federation Games in the year 1995 at Chennai and performed the folk arts during opening and closing ceremony which was appreciated by the government. 11. During the 8th World Tamil Conference at TANJAVUR, we participated with 1000 artists and disseminate the folk arts of Tamilnadu. 12. We participate regularly the Inter State Cultural exchange program at national level and take our folk art to different levels which in turn protect the dying and intangible folk arts of the nation. 13. This art could be developed only when those artists are protected with a regular livelihood as they does it as a traditional trade and occupation. In order to keep these artists with the same interest, we have had initiated many other welfare services which has been discussed at the above points and thus retain the growth and interest in the minds of the artists. Through these activities, we ensure and protect the intangible cultural heritage of Tamilnadu and develop the sense of responsibility of every Indian and culture lovers as a whole.

Relevant projects and initiatives

Tamil Nadu Rural Art Development Centre in Madurai aims to promote and develop the rural folk arts, to raise awareness through cultural programs at local, regional and national levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage and ensure the cultural appreciation in the country, and to promote Tamil folk arts by conducting certificate and diploma courses, among schools and college students.


Objective of the Organisation: a) To promote and develop the rural folk arts. b) To ensure and protect the original form of the folk arts of Tamilnadu, and develop the same by involving the community, groups and individuals. c) To protect the traditional art forms from alterations and modifications of modern era. d) To develop and to preserve Tamil culture through the folk arts. e) To raise awareness through cultural programs at local, regional and national levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage and ensure the cultural appreciation in the country. f) To promote Tamil folk arts by conducting certificate and diploma courses, among schools and college students. g) To conduct cultural events, seminors and youth festivels among students and enhance their participation in developing folk arts as a skill. h) To promote literature on folk arts. i) To promote Tamil rural folk arts among the people of other Indian states. j) To start and promote the rural folk arts institutions. k) To safeguard the intangible cultural heritage. l) To work for the welfare of the folk artists and help them to avail the existing facilities in the region. m) To participate in the national level competitions and cultural programs and get the recognition of the talented artists from government and cultural organisations.


Its experiences cooperating with communities, groups, and intangible cultural heritage practitioners; Since its formation as a rural folk art development centre, it has been doing many Yoeman services to the traditional folk artists and their family especially while organize them under one roof and promote them in a climate where there is a gap between modern arts and traditional arts. In fact most of these traditional arts such as “OPPARI” which is a folk song that will be sing on the occasion of death in rural villages. The organization’s head Mr. Somasundaram ( KARAGAM ) dancer whose educational background and experience in working with these artists and the folk art, realized the need for document it as it could not be gathered once the old aged singers’ life time. Similarly, he has the vision to develop the folk art as a educational branch of Tamil folk lore, he gave much importance to the protect the intangible folk arts and culture from the influence of modern life style. It is a very precious art and it has to be protected and kept informed and imparted to those of the youth whose interest is also on the lines with the national interest. His experience while organize, work with and facilitate the role as an artist, mentor, developer and promoter, he feels that he has had done a considerable contribution to the art through his NGO which is exclusively work for the cause. The CBOs (member organizations of folk artists of different parts of Tamilnadu) that are developed and promoted by him are the best examples of his work in the field which in turn directly and in some aspects indirectly promoting the intangible cultural heritage of the Tamil folks. The organization which is widely accepted by the particular community people who are the so called folk artists of various kind as a promoter, protector and educator whose personal social and cultural life is predominantly affected by lack of education in 99% of the cases and ignorance of the social life. These artists are in need of constant help for their personal ( in their respective art ) socio-economic and political life as they are from lowest strata of the community and lack leadership. Our intervention to empower them in self sustenance and make aware of their children on importance of education and their traditional art which is giving rebirth to the intangible cultural heritage of the land. Our artist are always very cooperative and member of our Tamilnadu Rural Art Development Centre since its formation and ever growing in numbers in Tamilnadu. Thus, the art and its originality will be taken to next generation too through our education, training and continuous support to the folk artists.