New Delhi: Bajaj Auto Ltd. (BAL), a leading two- and three-wheeler manufacturer in India, will extend its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) support to Sahapedia’s documentation and education project in Rajasthan and Maharashtrathat seeks to explore Bhakti and Sufi traditions in the two statesand bring into focus the wealth of poetry, music and artistic creativity these movements inspired across India.
The project,titled ‘Support for creating online Encyclopaedia of Indian History and Knowledge Traditions’, will explore Bhakti and Sufi traditions in all their aspects: everyday worship, community celebration, literature, mystic philosophy and performance, and create a body of original audio-visual documentation, supplemented by reflections of scholars and practitioners.
The duration of the project is from March 2019 to May 2020.
“We, at Bajaj, have a deep conviction in our time-tested Indian traditions, be it in any field of life. The project of research and documentation of Bhakti and Sufi heritage in all its aspects in the areas of Rajasthan and Maharashtra with their rich traditions have always excited us, as they help us gain insight about the social context at that time. We are happy to become a partner in Sahapedia’s documentation project to fulfil our desire of developing a deeper understanding of these traditions in the chosen areas,” said Mr. C. P. Tripathi, Advisor (CSR), Bajaj Auto.
Sahapedia’s Executive Director Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan said, “We chose Maharashtra and Rajasthan for field-testing the content curated as Bhakti and Sufi traditions formed a vital part of the cultural history of these states, as visible in shrines, poetry and living traditions of song and pilgrimage. All these aspects continue to deeply imbue the cultural memory of India today. They also bear testimony to the interaction between different cultures and religious groups. This new project of Sahapedia is a step towards making it all come together.”
She added: “On completion, it would be adapted into videos for schoolchildren to give them exposure to India’s long history, religious plurality and artistic creativity. It will also serve as a study-resource for college students designed to deepen social awareness, introduce skills in cultural interpretation, and encourage further research.”
Middle-school and graduate students will be exposed to this material through seminars and activities. There will be four sessions with schoolchildren over one month, and six graduate seminars over two months.
Elaborating, Ms Niharika Gupta, Director, Research, said the idea is to develop videos and multimedia modules for classroom interactions, supplemented by printed versions. “We are exploring the idea of students creating their own videos and poetry. We are planning to work with government schools, and are in conversation with Katha on how the documentation might be adapted, using Katha’s StoryPedagogy ©.”
In Maharashtra, Sahapedia has spoken to faculty at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, and plans to enlist the support of Shivaji University, Kolhapur.