Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fundraising with Nalamdana, Kalakshetra and Perch

PERCH volunteers did a very loving flower kolam on 21st and 22nd November 2009 at the entrance of Kalakshetra koothambalam. PERCH the theatre group headed by Rajiv Krishnan had offered their very successful English plays based on the famous Malayalam author Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer's short stories for fund raising for the activities of Aseema and Nalamdana. We at Aseema use traditional performing arts for message dissemination and Nalamdana uses theatre. We are partners in projects with World Education. It was Nitya Balaji of Nalamdana who suggested we have the fund raiser jointly and we went along though we were doubtful if we can raise any funding and sell tickets at all. The plays are brilliant and provide vignettes of life of ordinary people in Kerala in fun filled action packed stories. I asked Leela Samson an amazing woman who heads Kalakshetra for the space. She readily agreed to give us the Koothambalam as we do our projects in Besant Arundale school and Besant Theosophical schools run by Kalakshetra foundation. We had a really good time. On 21st I thought there may not be more than twenty people but more than three hundred people turned up with Tamil film actors Surya, his wife Jyothika and brother actor Karthi turning up long before the crowd began to come in. They stayed till the end and enjoyed the programme. On 22nd I thought there would be a bigger crowd. there was a crowd, but not bigger than the Saturday crowd.
We had the satisfaction of a perfect coalition event with all partners, Aseema, Nalamdana, PERCH and Kalakshetra coming together in great camaraderie. It was worth doing even if to discover the possibility and values of friendship and team spirit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gnanasamudhra award to V.R.Devika

more pictures at
Samudhra magazine for the arts awarded "Gnanasamudhra" title to V.R.Devika for her work in linking arts and education during their 7th anniversery celebration on 15th November 2009. The award was presented by philonthrophist Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty and Mrs.Y.G.Parthasarathy, dean and director of Padma Sheshadri Schools. Dr.Srinidhi Chidambaram inaugurated the function by lighting a kuthuvilakku and Mr.Natarajan, former director of Doordarshan and Mr.Nagai Muralidharan participated. The citation reads "Samudhra is proud to confer the title "Gnana Samudhra" on V.R.Devika art educator, writer and critic during its 7th anniversary celebration in recognition of her innovative approach in linking art and education and using it as an effective tool especially among children. May God Almighty bless her with long life and strength to continue rendering service towards the cause of fine arts" signed by Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, Patron and Dr.Radha Bhaskar, editor.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Childrens Day

14th November Children's' Day.
V.R.Devika was chief guest at a sharing session with children with social and economic disadvantages organised by play school Yellow Bus at Shastrinagar women's association premises. They presented costume dance and a puppet show for children and gave them gifts. There were some collage work also. Kalanjiyam, our partner organisation came and distributed free audio Cd's of Pappara Mittai consisting of stories told by children to children. V.R.Devika did some story telling too.
more pictures at

Reinventing Education

On November 11 and 12, V.R.Devika, managing trustee of the aseema trust took part in a two day conference on smarter education for a smarter planet conference organised by IBM in its reinventing education project of activity based learning for primary schools. She is on the advisory board of IBM's reinventing education projects. She introduced our partner organisation Kalanjiyam to IBM.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ashok Leylands School

A session on gandhi for classes 8 , 9 and 10 of Ashok Leyalands school in Hosur on 6th November got great response from students. Wonderful interactions.
Afternoon was a presentation on Traditional Performing arts in Education for teachers with story telling. Wonderful response again. Teachers were really full of fun and great participants.
Pictures are at

the drive to Hosur from Chennai was just beautiful with a very good road, a very pleasant weather and great scenery. Driving back from Hosur to Chennai was very interesting. We lost our way and were on the way to Salem and had to turn back to come to Chennai. The rain in Chennai was just unbelievable.