Students from various states of India should learn more about Kalakshetra Foundation and there has to be awareness building on the institution which has been recognized by the Centre as an "institution of excellence", Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.
Sitharaman, who was here to inaugurate the 68th Art Festival of Kalakshetra Foundation as part of the Centre's "Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav" celebrations, said art is an important instrument to tell the strengths of the country to the world. "It was pleasing to know that there were many students from the North East studying here, and quite a few people (students) from Arunachal Pradesh have come here.. we need to attract students from the rest of India to come here to study", she said.
Sufficing her point, Sitharaman said in places like Kalakshetra Foundation there was a "blend of so many things" which was available to a student. "We can have discussions with Gurus with whom we cannot even think of having an one-on-one interaction...there are many big gurus here to teach us and that kind of advantage is not easy to obtain..We need institutions like this and we need students to qualify through such institutions", she said. Sitharaman called for more awareness building on Kalakshetra Foundation to get people to understand what such a place can impart as education.
Noting that the country's fine arts, culture were India's "soft power" , she said it took several years for yoga to get global recognition. "Art is an important instrument to tell the strengths of India to the world and institutions like Kalakshetra Foundation should talk more on that so that India is better seen, better recognized (globally)", she said. Sitharaman offered her support to Kalakshetra Foundation for its growth and added that the Centre recognized it as an 'Institute of Excellence". "It is not only that, this (institution) is going to be a National Institute of Importance".
Calling for more support from the younger generation, Sitharaman said "several young minds should also contribute to this institution and it is not just business of elders to talk about fine arts. Today many youngsters have come with many new ideas on how to use technology to promote. Promotion through technology is very important to reach out to more audience", she said.
Sitharaman said Rukmini Devi Arundale who founded the Kalakshetra Foundation besides teaching dancing also introduced textiles weaving which has made a mark in the handloom sector today. "Discerning buyers do recognize what you have (Kalakshetra Foundation textiles) and these are all India's traditional strength, indigenously grown strength. We need to encourage this.." she said.
-With PTI Inputs