Lending a helping hand to artists

Artist M.V. Devan

Artist M.V. Devan  

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE : A group of persons led by M.V. Devan, sculptor, joined hands a year ago to form Malabar Cultural Association to focus on Malabar culture, its traditional art forms and to help out thousands of its unemployed youths.

Formed in October 13, 2004, the association is a group of families who have settled in different parts of the State to eke out a livelihood. So far, 250 families are members of this association. An arts and cultural wing of the association `Mamankom' is being formed to introduce youth to the folk arts, especially theyyam that proclaims the originality and heritage of Malabar. A wing under Pulikool Aboobaker under the name `Madhyasthan' (mediator) was formed to provide legal guidance to families, who are members of the association.

Mr. Devan said at a press conference here on Thursday that the association was not the result of `parochial thinking'. "There is a neglect towards Malabar. Look at the institutes imparting training in painting under the Government (College of Fine Arts). All the five institutes are situated in erstwhile Travancore and Kochi areas," Mr. Devan said.

A wing for helping out families in finding suitable bride\bridegrooms titled `Maniyara' has started working. The association is also bringing out a magazine `Malabar mind'. `Manavasheshi,' a wing for human resources development is functioning under the association. The main aim is to provide jobs, both skilled and unskilled jobs, to thousands of unemployed youths in Malabar, especially in the two districts of Kozhikode and Kannur.

They have plenty of opportunities in the super-markets, hotels, bakeries and textile shops in growing cities of Kochi and other cities in Kerala. "The idea is not only to provide a livelihood to thousands of youths, but to equip them to start their own business," Mr. Devan said. P.M. Sankaran, association president, said the association would soon organise a series of workshops and seminars on the `Neglect shown to Malabar region' in Kozhikode and other places.

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