Kala Raksha Center in Sumrasar Sheikh village, designed by Ahmedabad architect R. J. Vasavada, follows KALA RAKSHA's philosophy of innovation within traditions. The buildings are based on the traditional round bhungas, but use contemporary materials and technology. Like the traditional structure of artisans' villages, the Center is modular, comprising separate "bhungo" units arranged with local landscaping to create a living-scale, inviting atmosphere. Office, workshop, Resource Center and Museum are all computerized. These, the shop and guest house are all fully electrified with photovoltaic solar power. The Center serves as a model for contemporary technology for village artisans.
Aims and Objectives
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.
KALA RAKSHA views process as important as product. Income
generation, preventive health care, basic education, and group savings
are all integrated in a comprehensive development programme. Currently,
to further our goal of self sufficiency, and to share the rich
traditional knowledge of our artisans, we are offering workshops in
craft traditions on our Vidhyalaya and Center campuses. (click
here for details)
opportunity to earn through traditional art to nearly 1,000 women
artisans in 25 villages.
Have conducted design workshops with reputed designers over the
past 15 years. Women are encouraged to innovate on their own
traditions. Have trained local people as professional staff, and 20
village people in professional tailoring.
established Kala Raksha Textile Museum. Today the excellently
documented collections are digitally catalogued and archivally
Since 1997 conducted functional literacy/ awareness workshops with
Since 1997 conducted preventive health care/ education workshops.
established self help savings groups among artisans in 6 villages.
2001 Kutch earthquake, independently raised funds and
coordinated the reconstruction of an entire village (124 homes)
and three sub centers. Provided financial assistance on matching
grant basis for one year to all artisan constituency.
Established the first Design School for Artisans, with financial
support from The D C (Handicrafts) Government of India, UNESCO and
private donors- 56 students have completed the one year course.
From the outset, KALA RAKSHA's income generation project has been self sustaining. Beginning in 1993 with just RS 43,000, the Trust generated sales of nearly RS 7,000,000 in 2008-09, with minimum subsidy. However, being a not for profit based organization, KALA RAKSHA requires financial assistance to support ongoing social welfare programs and capital based expansion such as construction of new facilities.
Post the 2001 Kutch earthquake, KALA RAKSHA independently raised funds and coordinated the reconstruction of an entire village (124 homes) plus the establishment of three sub centers. In addition the Trust provided financial assistance on the basis of matching grants for one year to our entire artisan constituency.
Over the years, Kala Raksha has gratefully received funding from:
Aid to Artisans, All Together Now International, American India Foundation,
Bestseller Foundation, CARE, COMO Foundation, Development Commissioner, Handicrafts (GOI), Eileen Fisher, Ford Foundation, HEMLATA Foundation, India Sponsor Foundation, Kernel Trust, National Bank for Rural Development (NABARD), READ, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, UNDP, UNESCO, Unniti Foundation (Delhi), Winrock International
- Brochure on Kala Raksha
- "The Kala Raksha Story: Nurturing the Art of Craft," an 18 Minute DVD Film
- "Artisans Design! The Launch of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya," a 35 minute DVD Film
- "The Stitches Speak", a 12 minute animated documentary using artisans' narrative work
- "The Masters' Voices", a 45 minute DVD film on design in traditional textiles of Kutch
- "Entrepreneurial Development Programme Conducted at KALA RAKSHA in March 1998" 28 minute video
- Catalogue of Permanent Exhibition in Museum
- Product Catalogue
- PR File including various articles on Kala Raksha