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Routes2roots, an NGO working with the vision of spreading and sustaining peace across the world by promoting people to people contact through cultural diplomacy.
Art , Culture, and exchange programs are powerful tools of bringing together and erase borders.In 2016 Routes 2 Roots with the support of Ministry of Culture launched their educational program Virsa – Digital Learning of performing Arts. The prime objective of this program is to make the rich cultural heritage of India accessible to school-going children and provide inclusive education and cultivate their interest in culture thereby evoking their desire to learn. The concept has evolved from the basic idea of inculcating art/culture appreciation at a young age thereby sowing the seeds for a holistic and healthy society.
Routes 2 Roots has been conferred various accolades and honours for their path-breaking work in cultural exchange programs and promoting people to people contact, bridging differences and unifying people across countries and regions through their cultural programs. Some of these awards include the Kalam Innovation in Governance Award, the Intercultural Innovation Award by the UNAOC and the Outstanding Contribution Award in the Field of Art and Culture presented by the President of India among many others.
1. Virsa has at its core an advisory board of highly accomplished and renowned artistes and legends from various disciplines of Art. The Board of Advisory includes Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj, Padma Vibhushan Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Padma Bhushan Dr L Subramaniam, Padma Bhushan Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Grammy Award Winner and Padma Bhushan Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Padmashri Kavita Krishnamurthy, President’s Award winner Shafqat Amanat Ali, National Award winner Ehsaan Noorani, Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Juhi Chawla and Padmashri Shovana Narayan. The Contributing Maestros on the program include Shubhendra Rao, Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash, Rakesh Chaurasia, Kaushiki Chakrabarty, Rajnish Mishra, Ritesh Mishra, Saroja Vaidyanathan and Akram Khan
About This Cause
The need for a program such as Virsa arises from the fact that there is a great requirement for inclusive education in India and the world today. There is a need for education and exposure to cultural education which bridges the huge gap between urban and rural populations. There is a bigger need for holistic development of chidlren across the landscape providing them with equal opportunities for this by transcending the divisive elements of social, economic, regional, religious and caste specifications to ensure a healthier society and nation and therefore a unified world eventually. In education, the age-old system of guru-shishya parampara has rapidly vanished and what remains is insignificant. The stress induced by the current system of education, which advocates excellence in academia has also resulted in the exclusion of extra-curricular activities, a must for enhancing holistic growth. The further dependence of technology driven gadgets has added more stress to the lives of students rather than broadening their horizons and enriching their intellect.
Cultural exposure of students is restricted to activities in school, which involve participation of a handful students in annual functions. It has resulted in the cultural deprivation and imbalanced development of the society with the younger generations growing up in stress caused by lopsided emphasis on academics coupled with dependence on addictive elements such as electronic gadgets and even substance use at a young age. This is making the future generations of the country and the world constitutionally and mentally weaker, poorer and deprived. Virsa aims to make the country and the world a culturally rich place and a unified place by empowering the future generations with cultural knowledge and thereby promoting harmony and peace.
-Virsa is operational in 29 states of the country and 20 rural areas across India. It currently addresses over 2000 schools impacting approximately 3000000 children. The methodology to to scale up the project is A). To reach all the sates (accomplished) B). To reach all the districts (in process) C). Reach the block level (in process) thereby impacting 10,000 schools across India by the end of 5 years to create a cultural movement and an educated society for a peaceful and harmonious country. Funding is sought for scaling up and reaching out for the same