SESSION : SUPPORT FOR THE ART
ROLE OF NGOs IN PROMOTING ARTS
By 
Smt. Shamali Gupta Bose

SPIC MACAY, Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Cultural Amongst Youth is a voluntary youth movement and a non-profit organisation, instrumental in bringing the youth of the country within the realm of Indian Classical traditions and culture by organising more than 1000 concerts in a year in around 800 educational institutions of the country. Despite all odds, SPIC MACAY has succeeded in reaching out to the students through its 150 chapters in the country and 50 chapters abroad.

This year marks the Silver Jubilee Year of the existence of the largest NGO dedicated to the cause of Indian classical music and culture.

From the historic day when a Dhrupad concert was held in a small room of IIT- Delhi, the movement has expanded into the hearts of so many more bringing under its aegis unlimited flow of energies. Through classical and folk art forms we aim at providing a unique learning experience instilling thought and a genuine spirit of enquiry in the young.

We at SPIC MACAY have grown, evolved and are still learning in the process of discovering the inner truths, mystic and immense beauty that surrounds our art forms and tradition. Through all these years SPIC MACAY has steadily maintained the character of a movement, interpreted by us as 'that which moves people'. This indeed is the distinguished feature that emphasises the spirit of free service through effective voluntary work.

Why SPIC MACAY in schools?
The draft paper on the National Cultural Policy '92, states, "Cultural education needs to be introduced in schools not as an addition but as an integrated component in the curriculum teaching. The aim should be to make the child aware of the ancient traditions which have survived and are woven into the very fabric of the lives of people of our country; to familiarise the youth with the philosophical concepts and images based on centuries of evolution of aesthetic values, creativity and thought."

SPIC MACAY has committed itself to schools, avowing that its promotion in schools will go a long way in nurturing the above.

The students are fresh and open minded; easier to influence.
They remain longer with SPIC MACAY.
They are the lifeline of SPIC MACAY and to our performing arts.
Directly affect the school community, staff and indirectly reaches out to hundreds of homes.
Captive audience.

In addition SPIC MACAY holds equal number of programmes in colleges where the receptive audience has come prepared from school.

Why NGOs in promoting Arts ?
So that all that is pristine and sublime in Indian culture does not get diffused.

Satisfies the need to preserve and promote all that is good in our tradition.

There is an urgent need to save what is in danger of being obliterated or forgotten. (If one turns pages of history books, one notices that there have been periods of cultural stagnation where decadence creeps in). A revival or Renaissance is necessary. An NGO can work from outside the system to bring about this kind of revival.

An NGO like SPIC MACAY ensures that cultural decadence does not creep in, through education. This is done via orientation and initiation - the premise being that not all children are born with knowledge; they have to be initiated into it. This initiation has to be done in a very interesting, simple and lucid manner at the level of the child's interest.

Gives more time to the Gurus to perfect their art and train their shishyas to carry forth their tradition while the NGO provides platforms and attempt at producing appreciative audiences if not students of the arts.

25 YEARS HAS BEEN A LONG, ARDUOUS PATH AND WE HAVE A LONGER WAY TO GO AND MILLIONS OF HEARTS TO REACH...

(The writer teaches in Ramnarain Ruia College, Mumbai for over 11 years and is the Chairperson of Ruia Performing Arts Society. As a freelance journalist, she has to her credit over 200 articles on Art and Culture. Associated with SPIC MACAY since 1987, she now inspires her students to join the movement.)

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