(Teachers For Heritage)
Who is Tamil Heritage Trust?
Tamil Heritage Trust was established in 2010 by like-minded professionals who wanted to spread awareness about India’s rich heritage in all its dimensions – art, architecture, music, history etc etc. The five founding Trustees are:
- Prof S Swaminathan – Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Retd), IIT – Delhi
- Dr Badri Seshadri, PhD – Publisher, Kizhakku Padippakam
- Siva Thiagarajan - Proprietor, DuraSoft
- Mr A Annamalai, Director, National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi
- Mr S Kannan, Retired Banker
What are THT’s activities?
THT conducts the following programs for furthering the awareness and appreciation of Indian heritage:
- Monthly Heritage Talks (now on-line) - by experts and learned enthusiasts
- Pechu Kacheri – an annual 2-Day Seminar on Heritage topics
- Site Seminar – an annual 1-week study tour of places of heritage and historical
- How to See A Temple – 1-Day workshop introducing architecture, iconography and
- inscriptions of temples in Tamil Nadu
- Mallai Study Tour – 1 – Day in-depth tour of Mahabalipuram with certified docentrs
- How to See a Museum - 2-Day Tour of Egmore Government Museum, Chennai
- Pallava Grantha – Workshop introducing participants to Pallava grantha script
What is “Aalamar Avai”?
Aalamar Avai is THT’s Program exclusively for Teachers who are interested to spread awareness and appreciation of history and heritage among their students and in the communities in which they live and work.
Through this program, THT aims to provide opportunities for teachers who are interested in heritage to:
- Learn more about heritage matters
- Apply their learning by teaching others, by conducting events etc.,
- Share their activities with other fellow, like-minded teachers
- Get easy access to resources and materials for teaching
- Get easy access to a “heritage mentor”, who can provide tips and additional information when required
Why is it only for Teachers?
When a teacher is equipped with knowledge and has the enthusiasm to spread that knowledge, then the message about our heritage can reach successive generations of students. THT wants to support and encourage such teachers with training and other resources.
Other professionals and general citizens do not have the same level of access to young audiences. Hence, this program is restricted only to teachers.
Who can join Aalamar Avai?
Any Teacher who is currently teaching in any School and College anywhere in Tamil Nadu can join the initiative. There is no bar on age, type of school, teaching medium, subject they normally teach, etc.
One important requirement is that the teacher must have some level of interest in heritage matters.
Can a teacher from outside Tamilnadu and Pondicherry or outside India join?
As of now, this program is meant only for teachers in Tamilnadu and Pondicherry. It may be noted that most of the programs will be conducted in Tamil and references will be to monuments, artefacts and heritage elements of Tamilnadu.
What kind of programs can a member of Aalamar Avai expect?
7.1 Heritage Certificate Courses
THT will conduct short online training programs on How to See a Temple, and appreciate the Architecture, Sculptures, Paintings , Ancient scripts , Inscriptions and fine arts. These will be conducted on 4-5 weekends followed by interactions thru Whastapp during the week. Each course will have a project for the participant and an on-line exam. On clearing the course requirements, the participant will be awarded a Heritage Certificate by THT.
7.2 Experience Sharing Session
Participants will be given opportunities to share their heritage-awareness activities with other members. They will get opportunities to make presentation on their favourite heritage topics – say a local temple, or history or archaeology etc.,
7.3 Invitation to all programs of THT
Members of Aalamar Avai will be notified and invited o all the programs that THT conducts for its audiences.
7.4 Social Media Network
Members will become part of WhatsApp or Facebook Group which will contain threads / discussions on various subjects and some of the reference materials and a WhatsApp groups which will facilitate interaction among the Teachers and clear doubts / queries with Mentors over weekdays.
7.5 Access to teaching and learning materials
Members will have access to THT’s resources like Powerpoint presentations, videos, quizzes, and other specially developed materials with which they can spread awareness on heritage matters
What is expected from me as a member of Aalamar Avai?
The two main things expected from you as a member of Aalamar Avai:
Active and enthusiastic participation in all the courses, programs, events, interaction sessions etc
Active and meaningful work in spreading awareness amongst your students and audiences in your local communities.
Is there any fees for joining Aalamar Avai?
No. THT offers all its programs free to audiences.
However, when a member participates in events that include travel, accommodation, food etc, then a basic fee will be charged to take care of expenses.
Will THT support members to conduct programs in their schools or colleges for students?
If a member teacher wants THT to conduct a program in their school, THT will try to support such an initiative by identifying appropriate resources like presentation materials, contact details of appropriate resource persons etc., to assist them in conducting programs for their students.
11. Will THT approach my school / college for anything connected with Aalamar Avai?
Aalamar Avai is a program to support and encourage individual teachers who want to spread awareness about heritage related matters. It is entirely voluntary on the part of the teacher. THT will not directly approach the school or college of the teacher for any heritage-related activities.
12. How much time will I be expected to spend on Aalamar Avai activities?
There are two sets of activities:
Activities for you as a member e.g. Certificate Courses, Experience Sharing Sessions etc., The Courses will take about 8 hours a month on weekends and around 2-3 hours on exploration based assignments. Other than that there will be one 60-75 minute interaction every month.
Activities that you conduct for your students. The time you spend on this will be entirely up to you. THT recommends at least 2-3 hours a month for such activities.
13. How do I enrol in the Aalamar Abvai program?
Please fill in the online Registration Form at www.bit.ly/THT-Aalamar with some details about yourself, your school or college, and a few questions on your Heritage Interests to shortlist suitable aspirants. Selected Teachers will be intimated and will start the programs including training programs.
14. What infrastructure is required for making the best of the membership of this program?
- A smart phone with good internet connection and Whatsapp Chat
- A google account (for communication )
- A Facebook Account (optional – to join the groups)
- A PC/ LAPTOP – to read reference material and prepare project documents in Tamil (optional)
15. What does Aalamar Avai mean?
In Tamil, Aalamar Avai means “the forum under the banyan tree”. Lord Siva as Dakshinamurthy, the divine teacher, is represented as being seated under the banyan tree (aala maram in Tamil) teaching rishis.