Thiagarajar Arts Foundation is an initiative of the Thiagarajar Group of Institutions, Madurai, South India, as part of its social responsibility programme. The foundation serves to identify, protect, enhance and popularise the traditional arts and crafts of Tamilnadu. It aims at identifying craftspersons in need of revival, support and promotion. It also aims tapping new talent especially among women and youth.
Though, craft forms an important part of the Indian economic landscape, the 23 million artisans who in India are marginalised by their low social status and their poverty. This sector can be turned into a significant source of foreign exchange. Therefore women and youth struggling to enter the economic mainstream can use craft to become wage earners, provided they are shown how to get access to the market. Their inherent skills in embroidery, weaving, basketry and other craft forms are a natural means to social and financial independence.
Unemployed youth, college drop outs, relocated communities, families and amateur craftspersons.
In the first stage, Concentration and focus will be on the protection and development of traditional crafts and crafts persons. In the second stage, as a latent function, the foundation intends to give training to aspiring college students who have interest in crafts work, as this could be a source of supplementary occupation and income.