Craft-A-Life Project

The Foundation came up with an innovative concept and began this project in 2015. The endeavors of the project are.

  • To support traditional art forms, crafts & our rich culture & heritage
  • To promote, nurture and sustain talent of artisans engaged in relatable activities
  • To finance the set-up, training and education of poor artisans including employment that will ensure a livelihood
  • To promote the sale of these products by ensuring definitive off-take agreements with prospective vendors
  • To engage the community into ‘giving’ to these ‘centres of art n craft excellence’ by way of training, facilitating exposure and keeping abreast of unfolding tastes, preferences & technology.

Foundation is committed to make each centre fully equipped and sustainable in one year from date of running, networking with other NGOs, celebrities engaged in similar causes for constant support & continued exposure and training and simultaneously ensuring the education & financial sustenance of women to enable the achievement of the above, the Foundation has already set up two Centers of Excellence each in Waynad, Kerala and Dharmavaram, Andhra Pradesh to promote and sustain the Art forms of Chivurachitrangal & Leather Puppetry


Centers of Excellence 1 – Craft-A-Life Project, Wynad

Aparna foundation began a collaboration with Mr Sujith, the new genre expert and convinced him to spare time and effort into training poor but talented women keen on picking up the art form. This Craft-A-Life project at Waynad has been operational since July 2015 and the Foundation has been supporting this Center in various ways. The Aparna Foundation team works closely with the expert in enabling them foray into creating products out of the art form that are in vogue-such as lamp shades, car accessories, wall paintings, etc. The trainees, within a period of 3 months from the establishment of the Center were able to produce finished products of the Art form now in display at the International airport in Bengaluru..

Centre of Excellence 2 – Craft-A-Life Project, Dharmavaram

Bright colored puppets made of goat skin, painted with holes punched in are made by puppeteers located in Andhra Pradesh predominantly in the District of Anantapur. The 6 Feet long vivid puppets gained global recognition due to its unique design and style. The pictures are woven around episodes and stories from the Ramayan, Mahabarath mythological characters and events and depicted, painted in vibrant colors against a white screen.

These interesting art works and the artiste Mr Chalapathi Rao received several awards, recognition and even a distinction of the President of India. Nevertheless, with very few families left to engage in the art and produce alternate forms such as decorative lamp shades, wall hangings, book shelves,etc, the continuance of this art form now considered a ‘dying’ art form was in question. Competition from other art forms, lack of education stifling understanding of the market, the customers, pesky intermediaries whittling down margins, disinterest on the part of the next generation to continue to engage in the art are few reasons for the art form slowly fading away.

Aparna Foundation led by its team engaged in a dialogue with the artiste families and persuaded the expert, Mr Chalapathi Rao, a National Awardee, to guide the Center of Excellence into tutoring and training women in the Leather puppetry art form to develop products suiting customer preferences and also provide for sustenance of art and livelihood of trainees. The Center is set up and funded by the Foundation with the team constantly providing guidance and inputs to ensure proper training and development of suitable and diverse products. Currently, several women trainees are being trained in the art form. The Foundation also enables sale of the products that will eventually be created by the trainees and re-deploys the receipts into training efforts and education, exposure of the artistes.