Legal status

The Kattaikkuttu Sangam represents the interests of professional Kattaikkuttu actors and musicians and promotes Kattaikkuttu as a theater in its own right.

  • The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is registered in Kanchipuram as a not-for-profit organization under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 (Reg. No. 91/90).

  • As of 31 March 2018, the membership of the Sangam stood at 108 of whom 101 were men and 7 women. The Sangam’s membership is on an individual basis and our members represent different performance styles and geographical regions.

  • The Executive Board of the Kattaikkuttu Sangam is elected from among its members for periods of three years (current period runs from 10 Nov 2018 to 10 Nov 2021). The Board has decision-making powers. It appoints an Executive director who is also the organization’s chief representative. The Executive director appoints all other staff and is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the organization, including the running of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam.

  • The Bye-laws of the Kattaikkutu Sangam, its annual reports and audited financial statements are available on request.

  • The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is registered under Sections 12A (a) and 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Reg. No. 2039(140)/93-94)

  • The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is registered under Section 6 (1) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA Reg. No. 075820199). The FCRA registration is valid until 01-11-2021.

Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam

The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam is a residential theater school where 50 students live, study and receive training in all aspects of the Kattaikkuttu theater. We are proud to welcome into the Gurukulam children from the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Tamil Nadu.

We are determined to train our young performers and musicians to reach the highest level of professional abilities, allowing the traditional artistic knowledge and sophisticated craftsmanship to be passed on to another generation. Our typical audience is primarily rural, yet the work of the Gurukulam and our innovative productions speak to urban, national and international audiences, too. Our overarching vision is to maintain the strengths of the traditional form while increasing the scope and validation of Kattaikkuttu in order to ensure a dignified livelihood for its performers.

It is our belief that by maintaining a strong sense of gender equity, equal rights and respect for each other in combination with equal access to all of our academic and artistic programming, our students can meet the world empowered, regardless of the challenging circumstances they were born under.

  • The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam is administered by the Kattaikkuttu Sangam.

  • Standards 1 to 8 have been recognized by the Tamil Nadu Government as a Middle School under the Tamil Nadu Private Schools Recognition (Regulation) Act, 1973 (மு. மூ. எண் 18817/ ஜீ/1/2015).

The Kattaikkuttu Sangam and Gurukulam have a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.


To realize Kattaikkuttu’s full potential as a carrier of traditional artistic knowledge and skills and contemporary theater attuned to today’s society, which is able to thrill, in-spire, and transform rural, urban and international audiences.


  • To build a new generation of talented, young performers through providing access to professional Kattaikkuttu training, quality education and comprehensive care

  • To create sustainable and dignified livelihoods for Kattaikkuttu actors and musicians

  • To use and strengthen the artistic scope of Kattaikkuttu

  • To ensure that the Kattaikkuttu theatre will be available to future audiences.

We strongly believe that all art forms count equally and should be inclusive and accessible to all — rural and urban people, poor and rich, in India and abroad.

Kattaikkuttu Ambassadors

A group of eminent people from various backgrounds, including the performing arts and the academic and business world support our work. These Kattaikkuttu Ambassadors include, in addition to Dr. M.S. Swaminathan who is the Chief patron, Mina Swaminathan, Leela Samson, Rustom Bharucha, T.M. Krishna, Reena Fernandes, Priyali Prasad, Vijay Kumar and Mahalakshmi Kumar.

The Dutch Kalai Manram Foundation helps out with fund raising, screens potential volunteers and provides educational and pedagogical support.


Photography: P.V. Jayan, A. Prathap, A. Sumanth Kumar, Sue Rees, PeeVee, Chirodeep Chaudhuri, Hanne M. de Bruin

Text: Hanne M. de Bruin



This website is updated from time to time. However, the Kattaikkuttu Sangam does not warrant that the information, documents and materials contained in its website are complete and correct and shall not be liable whatsoever for any damages incurred as a result of its use.