Thursday, December 15, 2011


Sarah by Sriram V Ayer


My name is Sarah, I am but three,
My eyes are swollen, I cannot see,

I must be stupid, I must be bad,
What else could have made my daddy so mad?

I wish I were better, I wish I weren't ugly;
Then maybe my Mommy would still want to hug me.

I can't speak at all, I can't do a wrong
Or else I'm locked up all the day long.

When I awake, I'm all alone
The house is dark, my folks aren't home.

When my Mommy does come, I'll try and be nice,
So maybe I'll get just one whipping tonight.

Don't make a sound!! I just heard a car
My daddy is back from Charlie's Bar.

I hear him curse, my name he calls
I press myself against the wall.

I try and hide from his evil eyes
I'm so afraid now, I'm starting to cry.

He finds me weeping, he shouts ugly words,
He says it’s my fault that he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me and yells at me more,
I finally get free and I run for the door.

He's already locked it and I start to bawl,
He takes me and throws me against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor with my bones nearly broken,
And my daddy continues with more bad words spoken.

"I'm sorry!", I scream but it’s now much too late
His face has been twisted into unimaginable hate.

The hurt and the pain again and again
Oh please God, have mercy! Oh please let it end!

And he finally stops and heads for the door,
While I lay there motionless sprawled on the floor.

My name is Sarah and I am but three,
Tonight my daddy murdered me.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can you be angry for the cause of a girl child?

Mahakavi Bharathi wanted us to practice anger (ரௌதரம் பழகு). It is difficult not to be angry looking at the suffering of girl children in our country.

Girls are denied access to health services and education, and also face extremely high levels of violence, abuse, and harassment.

At NalandaWay Foundation we made a choice. We chose to be angry for the cause of our girls. Thus was born the Kannama Project. A campaign to make our girls creative, independent and empowered. To give them hope that they can do it.

Last year’s between December 2010 and April 2011, twenty five champions joined our fight. 648 donors helped raise Rs. 13,24,551/- (US $ 26,490/-) that was used towards arts based rehabilitation programmes for 270 marginalised girl children across Tamil Nadu. Click on this link to read about the activities that were conducted and their outcomes.

Today with Bharathi’s blessings we begin our campaign once again. We are extremely privileged to have the support of 25 of our friends who would champion the cause this year.

Our champions;

• Akhila Krishnamurthy, Chennai
• Anil Srinivasan, Chennai
• Anuradha Iqbal and Iqbal Mohammad, Lovedale, Ooty
• Derek Jose, Bangalore
• Harriet Richards, Australia
• Hemalatha Chakrapani
• ISoft, Chennai
• Jaideep, Mumbai
• Janaki Sabesh, Chennai
• Krishnan, UK
• Kirthi Valliur, Hyderabad
• Murlidhar, Chennai
• Ram Ganesan, USA
• Reema Rajan, Hyderabad
• Patrick Matthews, Chennai
• Sandhya Bhaskar, Canada
• Shilpa Kannan, New Delhi
• Sonal Nair, Chennai
• Sudhakar, Chennai
• Sriram Ayer, Chennai
• Ramya Ragavan, USA
• Varsha Narasimhan, Chennai
• Vidya Rajaram, USA

Join us in our fight. Show your anger by contributing to the Kannama Project.

Visit to make a donation today.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NalandaWay Desk Calendar 2012


Twelve disadvantaged children were trained to experiment with point & shoot digital cameras at the campus of Light and Life Academy and around the Nilgiris, over a period of 5 days. For all except one child, this was the first ever exposure to handling a camera. The result is a credit to their inherent talent and limitless enthusiasm. These photos in the calendar are not only an exhibition of their talent, but also their expressions of hope, creativity and empowerment.


COST: RS. 200/-

For orders

Please mail your requests to We could include your company's branding if your order is above 100 nos.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Story telling workshops and peformances

Story-telling. It really does conjure up some truly fond memories, doesn’t it? Tales from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panchatantra, Aesop’s Fables, fairy tales – an entire plethora of stories that we’ve grown up with. Told to us by beloved grandparents, parents, kindergarten teachers, favourite uncles and aunts. Heart-warming memories that stay with us, sometimes forever.

These sentiments were completely in keeping with the story-telling session that was organized as part of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 on Saturday, July 30. What made it so much fun? Why, the story-tellers, of course! We had Geeta Ramanujam, executive director of the Bangalore-based Kathalaya, teaming up with Sweden-based Ola Henricsson to bring alive, some of our favourite stories from years long past. The story-telling was followed by a fun-filled performance by Alf Mouwitz and his daughter, Anastasia, from the Buratino Puppet Theater, Sweden.

Preceding the shows was the workshop on how story-telling can be used as an effective tool by educators, meant for teachers and parents, conducted by Geeta and Ola. It was wonderful to see so many people participating in the session and more amazing to watch Geeta transform into every animal that she was describing – be it the crow, the bee, the snake, the rabbit, the peacock – name it and there she was, bringing it alive, right before our eyes. It was truly educational to see how she held the audience spell-bound with her tips on how story-telling can be used so effectively to connect with audiences of smaller age-groups. Geeta’s session was followed by Ola’s, who took us through some well-loved (though maybe a little forgotten) Swedish folktales, including the one about how the bear has such a short tail and the one with the fox and the rooster. The interactive session that followed these sessions offered interesting insights into the kind of challenges that educators face today, when it comes to catching and retaining the attention of children. We are very thankful to both Geeta and Ola for the time that they spent interacting with the participants and answering their various queries.

And then the fun began! Saturday, the last day, was action-packed with 3 shows - each show had a story-telling session by Geeta and Ola followed by the puppet show and magic show by Alf and Anastasia. And our hearts flip-flopped a million times all through the day as we saw our young audiences trudge expectantly into the hall, holding their teachers’ hands or their parents’ hands or each others. Our first two shows for the day largely saw participation from schools while the evening show was open to the public – and what amazing participation it was! We had children ranging from 4 years upwards and absolutely loved the way they participated in the story-telling sessions and the puppet and magic shows. We loved more, the way they worked with Alf to create magic as they chanted offe, puffe, duff, duff and helped him change circles to squares, the king of spades to the queen of hearts and so on. The story-telling sessions made us realize how easy and simple working with children can really be – if only we make the effort to understand what they want, what they enjoy and what makes them smile. If only we, as parents and teachers, understand how best to help a child deal with his / her environment.

Unfortunately, this seems to be something that the educational system largely lacks nowadays. The focus on the numbers game is so absolute that the child pretty much has no choice but to be a part of a rat race that he/she doesn’t even choose in the first place. And once it begins, forget it. It’s all about being in the top students in class, juggling millions of tuition classes, figuring out what to be when grown up (just out of curiosity, how many children do you know, who say they want to be happy when they grow up?) – I’m sure you get the drift. The truth is that childhood, as it is, isn’t an easy thing to deal with. Are we, as parents and teachers, aiding children in their attempt to make more sense of their world? Or is it to the contrary? Just a thought.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, this brings us to the end of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011. It has been a tremendous journey over the last two weeks for all of us associated with the festival. We are grateful to everyone of you who has made this journey with us. And sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing you the entire experience of the arts festival.


The first week of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 has been incredible for all of us. We’ve learnt a lot, had the opportunity to listen to established artists from different fields and watched some of the best movies made for children. Enter week two and it was time to up the ante a bit, we thought. And what better way to add to the excitement than to have a series of competitions that would not only give the children the platform to showcase their talents, but to also tweak that latent (or maybe not so latent, in some instances) competitive spirit in them.

Week 2 at Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 saw various schools participating in each of the competitions, namely Gram Slam (music), Curtain Call (skit), A Matter of Opinion (debate), Mix it Up (variety entertainment) and Posterize It (poster-making). The participation completely outbeat all our expectations, both in terms of the kind of numbers as well as the very enthusiasm with which children took part. Every child, every team and every school put in tons of effort into the contests and it has indeed been very heartening to watch them perform.

What was also equally exciting was the sheer variety of performances that we saw. The music contest, for example, had some teams singing folk songs while others rendered semi-classical and well-known classical songs. Similarly, the variety entertainment also saw the teams donning on their creative hats, as they put together various interesting pieces that included dance, music, mimicry, mime and theatre. The skit and debate competitions also saw tremendous display of talent. What made the skit contest, which was based on the theme Save, more interesting, were the various interpretations that we saw of the theme. And the debate contest brought to the fore, some incredibly good and confident speakers who argued the finer points of their respective topics. Their passion floored us all. And indeed, brings back fond memories of what it was like when we were one of them.

Needless to say, the entire second week exposed us to an ocean of talent in each of these contests. And what has been important for us is that so many students have so effectively leveraged the platform that we aimed to create for them. Besides this, we are wowed by the number of government schools who have participated throughout the festival, be it in the film screenings, lecture demonstrations, the competitions – whatever the activity. The very aim of Art Arattai Aarpattam is to provide an equal platform to students from all schools, government or private, and it was wonderful to watch them participate with so much josh in all of it. And when the students all got onto the stage to shake a leg as the children of the Government’s Home, Royapuram, put on one of their trademark foot-tapping performances – well, suffice to say that our hearts overflowed with affection for all these children who were having such a good time, and showed us they were having a good time!

We are very thankful to all our judges who took the time to be with us for these events. And we’re certain that they’ve all enjoyed these competitions. It may be a cliché to say that every participant is a winner. But I guess there is a reason why there are clichés in the first place – the very truth contained in them!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Patti Vadai Kakka Nari - 24/-7/11

So it’s officially the end of the first week of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011. And what a brilliant ride it’s been so far we’ve loved every moment of it – the chaos, the confusion, the tension, the arguments, you name it. And yet, crazy bunch that we are, we keep coming back for more. You, of course, do know why we keep coming back for more. We keep coming back because we see how much fun the children are having. And nothing compares to the sense of fulfillment that we feel each day, when these children go back to their respective homes, after a day spent learning some aspect about the art. They love it. We love them. We love it. Ergo, we would do every single thing for them again.

This evening at Art Arattai Aarpattam saw the staging of the well-loved tale from the Panchatantra, Paati, Vada, Kaka, Nari with a slight twist in the tale. Well, maybe a little more than a slight twist. Moving away from the popular version, the play had the entire kingdom of the jungle gearing up for a walkathon for the ultimate prize – paati sutta vada. Paati, who ran the factory, is famous for her mouth-watering paruppu vadas, which gained rapid popularity once she set up the manufacturing unit in memoriam of Jack, her true love who sank on the fateful Titanic and whose last wish (which remained unfulfilled) was to eat paati’s paruppu vada. The rest, as they say, is history. Or her-story, as you may want to call it.

So once the lion king announces the grand prize for the winner of the 50-km walkathon, several things happen simultaneously – the crows decide to steal the vada, the cunning foxes do too, a duck promises his young son that he will win the vada for him, the hares and the turtles debate whether speed will emerge the winner or will it be wisdom that will save the day. The chosen crow does steal the vada, which is an elaborate preparation (as you are likely to think, from the way that the paati’s monkeys make the batter and paati herself fries it). The rest of the play deals with how there is an animal-hunt launched by the king for the vada while the crow suffers pangs of guilt for easily doing away with a prize that so many animals are working hard to win. He has a change of heart and returns the vada to the cops and then we watch the exciting 50-km marathon as all the animals vie with each other to win the ultimate prize. Needless to say, it was wisdom that ruled the race.

What made the show special is that it was staged by children from the Government homes that NalandaWay works with across the state. They had worked hard to learn their lines, they had rehearsed hard and they were all set to have a rocking evening. Thanks to them, so did we. Because the performances were absolutely amazing – right from the lovable lion to the paati who still croons My Heart Will Go On to photographs of Leonardo di Caprio, from the wise turtles to the spirited hares, from the law-keeping roosters and hens to the conscience-stricken crow. Every child who played a role in the drama today played it to perfection. And they had so much fun along the way that the audience couldn’t but get caught up in all the fun!

An interesting insight that came up through the journey to this evening’s show is the emergence of natural leaders – four of the older boys who were part of the cast were also co-directors of the play. This is one of the most inherent qualities of theatre. It helps us see who are those that can lead others and this quality, is vital for us as we work with children from lesser-privileged backgrounds. Because these youngsters, who have the ability to lead others, help us work with the younger ones, who tend to trust them more naturally. Like we said earlier, the arts are an incredible journey of self-discovery, enabling to find within ourselves, strengths and qualities that we aren’t aware of. And it is our endeavor at NalandaWay to leverage the power of the arts to help rehabilitate these children into mainstream society and help them find avenues that help them create their own identities.
The next week promises to be equally full of action, as we continue the film screenings and also get into the contests – music, theatre and debate. If you haven’t made it to the fest yet, here is your chance to come and cheer the kids on as they participate in these exciting contests that we’ve lined up for them.

Sing Along with Krishna Iyer and Jeeva - 23/07/11

Saturday evening at Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 was one of the most-awaited events of the festival – the sing-along session with Krishna Iyer and Jeeva, two of Chennai’s best story-tellers.

The response that we’ve received over the last couple of days for the show, in terms of ticket sales, has been very heartening. And the pace rapidly picked up at the venue as people arrived in full anticipation of a fun-filled evening. In fact, the excitement in the air was almost tangible as we watched the children walking into Museum Theatre, holding their parents’ hands or in many cases, their friends’ hands. We love the way a 5-or-so-year old girl leaned across and whispered to her friend “So you and I sit together and your mother and my mother will sit together”. How can this not bring back memories from our own childhood, where we’ve said or done similar things?

Today’s event saw participation from a slightly different set of children – in that we had little ones ranging right from 2 years of age upto about 10, while our other sessions have had slightly older children. Krishna Iyer, Jeeva and the gang got the kids right into the groove with the very first number – the traditional version of the ABCD rhyme, followed by a faster, peppier version which gradually led to other well-known rhymes, including Hickory Dickory Dock, Mary had a little lamb, etc. The ‘cooler’, ‘trendier’ version of Five Little Monkeys had even the adults tapping their feet in time with the beat, even as the little ones crooned in chorus No more monkeys jumping on the bed. The Riddles and Rhymes session which came next was also thoroughly enjoyed by the children and this was clear in the glee with which they answered every riddle that was posed to them and the lusty voices in which they sang We solved a riddle. The fish-ie dance, which was, in fact, performed not once, but twice, was also thoroughly enjoyed by the children.

Parents joined the fun with the tiny tots as the team onstage had them all putting their right hands in, then out, and doing the hokey pokey and turning themselves around…watching a child having fun with his or her parent has got to be one of those things that brings such unadulterated joy to the watcher – and that’s what we saw this evening. And what fun it was to watch the kids as they went on a lion hunt with Krishna Iyer and crossed a tree, a bridge and a river, the brave little souls - till they came to the dark cave with the big, scary lion…and how they ran back after that! We don’t blame you if you think this to be literal  for those of us who were there, it did seem pretty real!

Isn’t what we saw today the true point of education? Having fun along the way? This is something we at NalandaWay feel very strongly about. Children need to have fun as they learn – and learn some of the more important aspects of life. Like confidence, motivation, decision-making, etc,. And the arts can really help them pick up these life skills in a much more seamless way. Simply because the arts are a process of self-discovery.

Some memories that will probably stay with us for a long time – the image of a father twirling his little boy around and the boy twirling the father around in turn, a sweet little girl who just kept jumping up and down keeping the beat with just about every song that was being sung, another father holding his little princess in his arms and happily jigging away without a care in the world. Mastercard sure said it when they used the line There are some things in life money can’t buy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Malavika Sarukkai - 22/07/11

Today has been yet another eventful day at Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011, as we come close to the end of the first week of the festival. And it gives us great pleasure to say that all our sessions have been very well-attended and indeed, seen such lovely, enthusiastic participation – it only reinstates our philosophy that the arts can play an incomparable role when it comes to working with children.

Take for instance, the rain-clap that Anil Srinivasan takes the children through. For those of you who haven’t seen this (meaning, you need to come to the festival NOW!), this is a simple exercise where Anil has the children tapping, first, one finger of the right hand against the left palm, then two fingers, then three, four and five fingers in succession. The resulting noise sounds exactly like the pitter-patter of the raindrops against the window. And every child who has seen and been a part of this simple exercise loves it – maybe for the simplicity of it, the beauty of it, the fact that all of them clapping so enthusiastically, sounds like thunderous applause – you can pick your reason. For us, the rain-clap is a simple bonding action that has, in the last five days, brought so many of us together, and put smiles on so many little faces. And I believe that every child will carry this back as one of the many fond memories of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011.

Today’s lecture demonstration saw Padmashri Malavika Sarukkai, one of the India’s leading exponent of the classical dance form, Bharatanatyam, interacting with the children. Truth to be told, we have no idea how those 90 minutes passed us by. What struck most of us in the audience is the impeccable dignity and grace that Ms. Sarukkai carries herself with. The session started with an excerpt from Vahini, a documentary made by Ms. Sarukkai, with the chosen excerpt focusing on the Mallari, the piece that is traditionally played during deeparadhanai at temple processions. This was followed by an incredibly dynamic session where Ms. Sarukkai demonstrated how various deities are depicted in the art form and went on the demonstrate how different elements are depicted. The way she artistically demonstrated something and came back to get the children guessing about what it was really got the children on their toes and indeed, it was a very happy hour and a half. Having taken the children through the concept of abhinaya, Ms. Sarukkai then performed a korvai from a thillana, where she etched beautiful designs in the air – with the circles, straight lines and diagonal lines. The audience was enthralled. Completely.

After every session, we have an interactive session, where we invite the children to either share their experience from the session or pose any questions that they may have for the artist. Almost every child who spoke today stated that he / she now wanted to explore classical dance more seriously and indeed, why not? They have been inspired by one of the most established artists in the classical dance arena, herself.

One of the most candid moments that we’ve seen this time was when a 4-year old boy walked up to the stage today, took the mic and said “I liked this performance”. Once again, as organizers, instances like this make us sit back and say “Well. So we are doing something right.” Because instances like this prove to us that art has no barriers. One can never be too young or too old to appreciate art. And nowhere has this probably been as relevant as it is in our world today - where children are made to go through so much that is beyond their years, where they are robbed of their very childhood. It is art, and art alone, that gives every such child, an avenue, a means to make more of himself / himself than what his / society dictates that he / she should be.

As move closer to the second week of the festival, we once again thank all our sponsors and patrons for all their support. We hope to see more of you at the venue. And welcome any feedback and suggestions that you may have for us.

Kondattam it is! - 19/07/11

Art Arattai Aarpattam – Aaattam, Paattam, Kondattam it is!

With the fourth edition of Art Arattai Aarpattam officially underway, every day has been an exciting journey for all of us involved. The schedules have been planned with a lot of care and attention to detail, to ensure that all our little participants had a memorable time, irrespective of what they were doing –whether it was watching one of the movies that had been chosen for screening, or going through any of the lecture-demonstrations that are being conducted over the course of the week. And I’m very glad to say that yes, the children are having a fabulous time, this is as we saw the other day, when we screened two films at the Museum Theatre – the first one was Kavi, a short film made by International Justice Mission, one of our key partners for the festival. The film beautifully captures the simple aspiration that Kavi has – to play cricket. Caught in the age-old evil of bonded labour as his father has borrowed Rs. 10000 from a local brick-kiln owner, Kavi is forced to work with his parents everyday, thereby missing out on school, studies, games – in effect, missing out on his childhood. The film deals with how a couple of rescue workers find out about the kiln owner’s operations and how they rescue Kavi from him.

These are the sort of instances that many of us are aware of and don’t do anything about. Or worse, are not even aware of, in the first place. One of the primary objectives of the NalandaWay Foundation is to ensure that every child gets access to what is his or hers by birth – access to childhood. Needless to say, films like Kavi are instrumental in creating amongst children, awareness that they do not have to succumb to such situations and that help is always there. And in turn, create in these children, the ability to realize it when they see something wrong and where possible, do something about it.

The second film that we screened was Fly Away Home, an extremely heart-warming story about little Amy and how she forms a bond with a gander of geese and her efforts to help them fly from the cold Canadian winter to the warmer US. We are very happy to say that the children thoroughly enjoyed the film that offered insights into various aspects of what children go through at that young age – the bereavement of a child losing her mother in a road accident, the difficulty she has in bonding with her father and his girlfriend, the attempts they make to connect with her, the solace she finds in the geese and how their common aim of helping the birds migrate south build a strong bond between the father and the daughter.

The afternoon session saw Mr. Ilango, one of India’s most celebrated artists, conducting a demonstration for the children, which saw enthused and active participation from the children. Having spoken about various aspects that influence his art, Mr. Ilango highlighted the point that to create an artistic impression of a specific object, one needs to become that object itself, to capture its essence. We are very grateful to him for having illustrated this point so beautifully as he created a painting of the jallikattu right before our eyes in a span of just ten minutes.

The interactive session that followed his demonstration saw many children voicing their opinions and questions, which Mr. Ilango patiently heard out and answered – and to add to the beauty of the moment, two students from Government School, Somamangalam have been offered free coaching courses by Mr. Ilango at his school! The sense of gratification for us, as the organizers, simply can not be put into words. After all, this is what we strive to achieve – to help provide such opportunities for children amongst us, that will help them to create an identity and place for themselves, using art as the medium.

We sincerely believe that the rest of the sessions that we have planned will be equally well-received. And hope that more of you will join us for more aaattam, paattam, kondattam along the way!

Inauguration - 18/07/11

The fourth edition of Nalandaway Foundation’s Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 is officially underway!

The first event of the much-awaited cultural extravaganza for children was a lecture-demonstration on classical music by well-known singer Bombay Jayashree. The session was attended by more than 200 children from across 6 schools. What made the session so much more interesting is the fact that most of the students who attended the workshop had not undergone any sort of formal training in classical music.

This was followed by the formal inauguration of the event – what promised to be a harmonious evening with the coming together of some of Chennai’s favourite musicians – Anil Srinivasan, Unni Krishnan, Naresh Iyer and Navin Iyer.

The concert was preceded by a short tableau presented by students of the Government’s home, Roypuram, Chennai. The excitement on each child’s face was in plain view as the group created awareness amongst the audiences about the schedule of programs that have been lined up for the next two weeks, including lecture-demonstration on cartooning (is this right?), photography, movie screenings, story-telling sessions and puppet shows. This excitement amongst the participating children, ladies and gentlemen – this is the reason for Art Arattai Aarpattam 2001. This is the reason why we strive so hard, every year, to create an experience that each child cherishes, and brings him and her back to us, the next year.

The concert, to put it in short, was nothing less than a magical journey of beautiful, melodious music, with the artists rendering immortal Bharathiyar favorites like Kakai Siraginile Nandalala, Chinnanjiru Kiliye, Ninne Rathi Endru, amongst others. The pieces left the audience completely spellbound as the strong, soulful voices of Unni Krishnan and Naresh Iyer combined with Anil Srinivasan’s passionate and involved recital on the piano. Our sincere gratitude to Anil Srinivasan and Navin Iyer, who showed us in such an incredibly beautiful way, that music indeed does know no boundaries.

We could not have asked for a more eventful inauguration of Art Arattai Aarpattam 2001. We take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors who have helped get the show underway. We also thank each and everyone who made it a point to be with us this evening and hope that we will see more of you in the days to come.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Presenting - Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011!

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

And isn’t that the holy truth of all our lives! But hey, Here’s a reason for you to cheer up! The fourth edition of NalandaWay’s annual cultural extravaganza, Art Arattai Aarpattam 2011 is back again.

With a whole range of exciting, fun-filled activities - right from children’s film festivals, inter-school competitions, story-telling sessions and skits – being planned for 14 days, there is really only one place you should be…with us!

While our everyday chores often leave us with little time to engage in art and related activities, it has always been one of the best ways to reach out and connect with children. Remember the Jungle Book soundtrack? A child is learning / In a very special way he’s beginning to see all the things in the world today. And that, dear friends, is what art is really about, right? Interpreting what we see in our own,
unique, distinct ways and making meaning out of our experiences – and that is exactly what AAA will work towards. Towards creating a space for children, families and teachers to have new experiences of the arts, to experiment, to challenge, to be inspired and to have fun together.

Art, Arattai, Aarpattam 2011, the Children’s Festival of Dance, Drama, Music and Film, will be inaugurated Monday, July 18, at 6.30 pm, at the Museum Theatre, Egmore. Some of the eminent personalities who will be a part of Art, Arattai, Aarpattam 2011 include Anil Srinivasan, Naresh Iyer and Unni Krishnan, Bombay Jayashri and Padmashri Malavika Sarukkai, amongst others.

For more details about all the exciting events that we’ve planned, call Madhumita @ 8870692733 or log onto our website /aaa2011.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Kannama 'Shoots' Fear

For 20 girls in the Government Home in Kilpauk, the last one month has been inspirational like no other. While they had nurtured dreams of film making since they were little girls, they had to struggle against the harsh reality of their lives over the added gender struggles. Creativity took a back-burner in their daily fight for survival. But these children were determined to see their dreams succeed, despite all the disadvantages that were thrown at them.

And they did succeed. For this motley group of girls including children rescued from bonded labour, juvenile delinquents as well as orphans,street children, children from single parent households etc, opportunity came in the form of intervention of NalandaWay Foundation. A film making workshop conducted by NalandaWay's trainers in April 2011 saw great success in the outpouring of creativity it initiated.

Over the course of three days, the children were taught various skills such as story writing, direction, camera handling, art direction, music, acting and other aspects related to making movies by NalandaWay trainers. Such was the resourcefulness of the children that concepts that could stump even an adult were grasped so quickly and the children were ready to make their own movie at the end of the three days!

NalandaWay is now proud to present to you the fruit of these children's labour - "Kan Moodi Kan Thera", a short film entirely scripted, directed and created by these children using the skills acquired during the three day workshop. The story draws inspiration from their own lives - It is the story of fear that often afflicts our lives, and how to overcome it. This is just the first step in what we hope will be a life changing project. To view the short film, please click

This would not have been possible without the generous contribution of donors to the Kannama Project. Inspired by the works of the legendary Tamil Poet Subramanya Bharathi, who highlighted the plight of girls and the importance of equal rights, The Kannama Project is an online fundraising campaign of the NalandaWay Foundation. To know more about the project, visit

Sale of photographs in Amsterdam to support NalandaWay

Backpicture, Netherlands is organising an exhibition and auction of photographs and art items on June 5, 2011 between 16:00 - 20:00 hrs at Green Bay - Keizersgracht 253, Amsterdam. All proceeds would go to NalandaWay Foundation. For more information click