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Maati: Sustaining Tradition & Fostering Growth in Purvanchal

Maati emerges as a luminary in Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh, nurturing the ethos of cultural legacy concomitant with the imperatives of sustainable progress

Maati stands as a public trust devoted to nurturing art, culture, and sustainable development in Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh. With a vision that harmonizes tradition with progress, Maati strives to safeguard the region’s cultural heritage while propelling community growth.

At its core, Maati is committed to cultural preservation. The trust orchestrates vibrant events, workshops, and festivals celebrating local art forms, music, dance, and crafts, providing artists a platform and rekindling age-old traditions. Collaborations with educational institutions embed cultural education in the curriculum, fostering pride and continuity among the youth.

Maati’s dedication extends to community development, focusing on education, healthcare, and sustainable livelihoods. It offers scholarships, vocational training, and adult education, empowering individuals. Healthcare initiatives like medical camps and health awareness drives enhance overall well-being, with special emphasis on maternal and child health.

Sustainability lies at the heart of Maati’s endeavors. The trust promotes eco-friendly practices, sustainable agriculture, supports renewable energy projects, and implements waste management solutions to minimize environmental impact.

Collaboration is pivotal to Maati’s approach, forging partnerships with local organizations, government bodies, and international agencies to craft holistic development strategies. Through these alliances, Maati effectively addresses community needs.

Maati emerges as a catalyst for transformative change in Purvanchal, seamlessly blending cultural heritage with sustainable development. By nurturing a community that reveres its past while embracing the future, Maati ensures a thriving and prosperous region.

In an exclusive dialogue with The Interview World, Asif Azmi, Convenor of Maati and Chairman of The Pen Foundation, illuminates Maati’s core initiatives and underscores its pivotal role in elevating Purvanchal’s art, culture, fashion, and culinary traditions on the national stage. Here are the key insights from his interview.

Q: Can you provide an overview of Maati?

A: Maati, a venerable public trust in Uttar Pradesh’s Purvanchal region, stands at the vanguard of promoting art, culture, and development. Founded to preserve cultural heritage and propel sustainable growth, Maati serves as a beacon for community enrichment and empowerment.

With a mission to safeguard Purvanchal’s rich cultural legacy, Maati champions sustainable development alongside cultural preservation. It strives for a harmonious synthesis of tradition and progress, aiming to foster a dynamic community deeply rooted in cultural heritage and innovative initiatives.

At the core of Maati’s endeavors lies the preservation of Purvanchal’s cultural identity. Through a myriad of events, workshops, and festivals, the trust celebrates local art, music, dance, and crafts. These initiatives not only provide platforms for local artists but also rejuvenate and sustain traditional art forms at risk of vanishing.

Maati collaborates extensively with schools and educational institutions to integrate cultural education into curricula, ensuring that younger generations embrace and proudly uphold their heritage. These concerted efforts are pivotal in nurturing a cohesive community spirit and fostering continuity among the people of Purvanchal.

Q: Can you tell us about the current projects that Maati is working on?

A: Maati undertakes a variety of projects, including the Purvanchal Festivals, Bachchon ka Maati, Rural Health Camps, Publications, and Job Fairs. The Purvanchal Festivals, for instance, proudly showcase the region’s cultural tapestry through traditional folk songs and dances. Art forms such as Birha, Aalhas, Nautanki in Bhojpuri, Khadi Boli, and Awadhi serve as vibrant expressions of Purvanchal’s rich ethnic identity, complemented by our vigorous promotion of authentic Purvanchali cuisine.

Similarly, Bachchon ka Maati, a summer camp catered to students from Class III to Class VIII, features a dynamic blend of competitions, creative crafts, and value-based educational activities. The inaugural 2023 edition drew participation from an impressive 127 schools across Delhi & NCR, engaging 690 children and 740 parents, underscoring its significant community resonance.

The crown jewel of Maati’s vision is the ambitious Maati Cultural Centre, poised to embody its mission of championing Purvanchal’s art, culture, cuisine, and values on an institutional scale. This center promises to be a beacon of pride for Purvanchalis globally, serving also as a pivotal policy hub for advancing the region’s developmental imperatives.

Spread across 2 acres near the Noida International Airport, this visionary project integrates cutting-edge amenities: halls, auditoriums, theaters, accommodations, a café, a members’ lounge, a wellness center with skill enhancement facilities, a business hub, and village tourism infrastructure. The Maati Cultural Centre aspires not merely to be a physical edifice but a transformative force, enriching and expanding Purvanchal’s cultural and developmental horizons.

Q: Could you provide insights into your plans for organizing the second edition of Bachchon Ka Maati?

A: We are delighted to announce the upcoming second edition of Bachchon Ka Maati, slated for July 14, 2024. Registration closes on July 6, 2024. The event promises an array of captivating competitions: drawing & painting, quiz, dance, Hindi and English poetry recitation, and essay writing. Participation is free, yet registration online or via school submission is mandatory.

With 127 schools participating last year, we anticipate a surge in numbers this year. We earnestly encourage parents to inspire their children from classes III to VIII to partake in this enriching program for an unforgettable experience.

Q: Can you provide more details about the rural health camps program and the impact it has had on the communities it serves?

A: Maati is embarking on a transformative journey with renewed initiatives, initiating Free Health Camps in rural Purvanchal. These camps feature a distinguished cadre of doctors from esteemed institutions like AIIMS, BHU, Medanta, JNMC, LMMC, Apollo, and Max Healthcare, graciously offering their expertise in person.

In the fiscal year 2023-24, we successfully organized 5 Medical Camps in the Siddharthnagar district, supported by CSR funding from SECI and IOCL. Looking forward to 2024-25, our vision encompasses extending these Free Rural Health Camps to Mau, Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Bahraich, and Shrawasti districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Q: Could you please explain what ‘Maati Samman’ is and its significance?

A: Maati Samman reveres excellence by bestowing accolades upon distinguished Purvanchalis in public service, art, agriculture, healthcare, business, and media. This festival embodies our tribute to the exceptional endeavors of Purvanchal’s gifted individuals, who tirelessly serve our nation across myriad domains.

Q: Could you elaborate on the impact of Maati on the community in Purvanchal?

A: Maati exerts a profound influence on the people of Purvanchal, safeguarding cultural heritage and instilling a sense of community pride. Through dynamic events and workshops, the trust provides robust platforms for local artists, thereby perpetuating traditional art forms and fortifying cultural identity. Concurrently, Maati’s educational initiatives, such as scholarships and vocational training, empower individuals with essential skills for enhanced socio-economic opportunities. Complementary healthcare programs address critical issues like maternal and child health, promoting overall community well-being.

In its commitment to sustainability, Maati actively champions eco-friendly practices and sustainable agriculture, promising enduring economic benefits for local farmers. Moreover, pioneering renewable energy projects and innovative waste management solutions significantly elevate living standards across the region.

Maati adopts a collaborative ethos, partnering with local organizations and governmental bodies to formulate comprehensive development strategies that aptly meet community needs. This holistic approach fosters resilience, empowerment, and cultural enrichment within the community, paving the way for a vibrant and prosperous future in Purvanchal.

A Glimpse of Bachchon ka Maati 2023, Organized by Maati
A Glimpse of Bachchon ka Maati 2023, Organized by Maati
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