Induz’s Tulika Project helps improve the lives of underprivileged children by nurturing their artistic talents and providing them with the means and opportunity to practice art. The program focuses on developing national and international art programs in rural towns and cities for underprivileged children.
Youth are provided with the proper tools and instruction to learn art forms such as music, dance, drawing, and painting. According to Stanford University and the Carnegie Foundation, “Art education actually increases academic achievement and is more crucial than ever”; however, support for art education continues to decline in the United States. There is even less support for the arts in developing countries, and many of today’s youth are suffering from the repercussions. The Tulika Project helps remedy this situation. The first Tulika Project was launched in June 2008 in Silghat, Assam, India, and thus far has received much encouragement and publicity by the community and local media. The art classes are held in Silghat’s village community hall on Sunday afternoons for three hours. During this time, six instructors from the local school give lessons in fine arts, music, and dance to a class of 40 children, in addition to SAGC Grant Application 2010 providing a healthy meal during break time.
The town of Silghat has been victim to a devastating flood in recent years, and what was once a city of trade and commerce has become an isolated and impoverished town. The Tulika Project has had a very positive effect on the children and families of Silghat, giving them hope for their community, along with inspiration to pursue their passions. In response to the community’s positive reaction, Induz is planning on expanding the program by adding one day to the previous once-a-week schedule in order to accommodate more children. Induz’s second Tulika Project was launched in August 2009 at the Santosh Children’s Orphanage in Bangalore, India. Santosh Orphanage provides support for destitute and orphaned children by nurturing and educating them, equipping them for the future.
The home currently houses 30 children from various backgrounds. Tulika Project provides art education for these children, enabling them to learn art and music. The children of Santosh Orphanage have formed a music band, created pottery, and painted a mural for their room. Several Induz volunteers in the U.S. were able to travel to India to visit Santosh and held special workshops for the children.
Deepika Yeldandi, who is now a board member of Induz, conducted a “World Culture” workshop through which children learned about different countries and their cultures. Kiran Patel, a senior leader at Intuit in Mountain View, California, visited the orphanage and was particularly impressed when a small child answered his question about the meaning of the words inscribed on the Brazilian flag. Ray Mitra, president of Induz, led the music workshop, and children showed off their musical abilities by playing drums, guitars, and other instruments, as well as singing songs.
The third and most recent Tulika Project was launched on June 21, 2010, at the Biswabandhu Mission in an obscure village in the Burdwan district of West Bengal, India. Biswabandhu Mission is a charitable welfare organization that offers education to the orphans, socially and economically challenged minority children, by providing them with a unique and ideal academic environment. Art in any form had been a distant dream so far to these tender hearts at Biswabandhu Mission. With the opening of the art school sponsored by Tulika Project, Induz helped in unfolding the dreams of Biswabandhu children into reality.
More than 60 students have benefited from the project, all of whom are very glad to be the proud owners of their own personal drawing kits. Children who were not at all interested in art before the program started are now enjoying it. One student at the Santosh Orphanage, K. Prashant, received 2nd prize in the National Instruments Art and Painting competition. Perhaps most notably, children have shown an overall improvement in their main studies since they started their art and music class. For example, Dichu, an 8th grade student at the Santosh Home in Bangalore, began showing significant improvement in his math skills after he started the arts program. In 2009, he ranked 11th in the Statewide Mathematics Talent competition. In general, kids are much happier and focused because of their extracurricular activities in arts and music.
Our first location for the Tulika Project is located in the rural and underdeveloped town of Silghat, Assam, India, an area where art education and practice is almost completely lacking. The program is held in the village community hall on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for three hours. During this time four instructors from the local school teach a class of 40 children lessons in fine arts, music, and dance in addition to providing a healthy meal during break time.
On the Monday afternoon of June 23, 2008 the once silent and dismal community of Silghat, Assam, India was singing. The cheerful laughter of children and excited gratitude of adults bellowed from the local community hall as they celebrated the launch of Induz's, Tulika Project; a program that provides art, music, and dance classes to underprivileged children in rural areas. Over 200 members of the community plus the local media gathered on this day to introduce the establishment of this inspiring and progressive program.
The ceremony began with singing, dancing, and a drum performance, followed by a speech about Induz and the mission of the Tulika Project by Mr. Salil Kumar Mitra, President of Tulika Project. After the initiation, the "Tulika Kit" was handed out to all children enrolled in the program. The "Tulika Kit" included art supplies needed for instruction and a Tulika Project t-shirt. Snacks were then distributed to everyone as excitement and hope for the potential of this project filled the air. "I am so thankful that Induz has given my child this opportunity that they otherwise would have never been able to do," one parent commented during the launch.
Everyone in the community is supporting Induz's endeavor and there is a huge demand for the program to accommodate more children. In response to the community's positive reaction, Induz is planning on expanding the program by adding an additional day to the previous once a week schedule.
Ruby Kalita, a child welfare officer and a chief guest at the launch, expressed her acknowledgment and gratitude of the project by exclaiming "I am very impressed with this effort and I will do whatever is in my power to see this program grow." Induz plans to do the same as they have worked feverishly to organize events and raise funds for the benefit of this initiative and for the unity of Silghat's community.