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Karna’s Eyes is an international fund raising campaign. The campaign involves alumni volunteers and friends of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam who live in many countries on different continents. They will be the initiators and engines of a number of local fund raising campaigns that aim to raise money to safeguard the future of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam and its talented young students.

We would like to engage your minds and hearts to make Karna’s Eyes an incredible success — in many different ways. Please follow this unique initiative on our dedicated Facebook Page and join us when Karna reaches your door-step.

P. Rajagopal

Executive director Kattaikkuttu Sangam & Artistic leader Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam


Hanne M. de Bruin

Facilitator & Program director Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam

You can contact us at


Why Karna?

Rajagopal and I have chosen the figure of Karna to represent the students of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam. Like them, Karna is an underdog. Stigmatized by caste, he is looked down upon by society and denied access to competing with others at an equal level. It is our aim to provide our students with artistic and academic skills that allow them to leave the school as capable individuals ready to break barriers of caste, gender, inequality and poverty that have trapped so many of their families for generations. Furthermore, Karna is famous for his generosity. We hope that this trait will be reproduced in others when you appeal to them to support us.


How does it work?

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A mask, “Karna’s Eyes”, will travel to many different countries for the period of one year. The mask has been made especially for the campaign by Colette Roy.

Colette teaches mask making at the Academia Teatro Dimitri, an academy for physical theater in Verscio, Switzerland, with which the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam has a long-standing collaboration.

We request participants, who receive the mask of Karna's eyes, to organize a fund raising event - small, big, artistic, straight forward. Additionally, we ask them to put the mask on and look at their world through Karna's eyes.

The images below show you the different steps you need to initiate to make Karna’s Eyes work.

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Why this campaign now?

The future of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam is at risk. The most important reason to initiate Karna’s Eyes now is to raise funding for the school year 2019-2020.

The Gurukulam provides a safe and caring environment in which Kattaikkuttu’s complex artistic skills are transmitted to rural children and young people (7 to 18 years), irrespective of their gender and social background. Would this safe haven disappear, we believe that it would negatively affect the quality of Kattaikkuttu performances. Its disappearance would make it much ore difficult, if not impossible, for girls and women to get access Kattaikkuttu’s training and participate in onstage performances on a par with boys and young men.

In addition to raising funds for the Gurukulam, Karna’s Eyes appeals to the creative talent of the campaigners. We believe that your artistic contributions in the form of a “report” of what Karna saw at your specific location in the world, will help create a greater visibility and awareness of our work. “Reports” can be in the form of a blog, drawing, photograph, video-clip, filmed live performance, sculpture, installation or anything else you feel befits our mission and ideals. Given the artistic backgrounds of many of our alumni volunteer we expect that Karna’s impressions will be varied and powerful.

We will publish Karna’s journey and adventures on our dedicated Facebook page, the Kattaikkuttu Sangam’s Instagram, Twitter and this website. At the end of the project we intent to collate Karna’s “reports” that we have received in a story book or film as a concrete memento of the campaign.


Why is your contribution of crucial importance?

Funding grassroots organizations like the Kattaikkuttu Sangam and Gurukulam, which use the performing arts to support marginalized, vulnerable children and young people, is becoming increasingly difficult. We do not and cannot “scale”; 50 students is our maximum. It allows us to work with small groups and transmit embodied and cognitive knowledge one-on-one. Many of our students arrive at the Gurukulam with substantial learning back logs. In addition to stimulating academic performance and critical thinking, theater allows them to become confident young people onstage and offstage, express themselves in public, work in a team, empathize with others and develop physical stamina and emotional maturity.

Some of our students have been traumatized. Some of them have experienced domestic violence as the result of substance abuse or have witnessed the suicide of a parent; others grew up in single parent household, usually headed by a woman, and have faced poverty and malnutrition. Daily training in Kattaikkuttu singing, acting and music provides them with a clear and safe trajectory into adulthood and a discipline that enables them to hang on to life in times of desperation. For them theater works as a great healer.


Interested to participate?

Please contact us if you are interested to participate and raise funding for the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam.

Below you will find ideas for a fund raising event and funding goals, i.e. how much money is needed to fund a child or a particular budget item of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam. Click on VIDEO in the bottom banner of this website for links to video-clips that you are welcome to use. There is also a printable version of the mask of Karna’s Eyes that we can send you. You can use this as the emblem for your fund raising campaign in case you have not received the real mask or have already sent it off to a next participant.

Please do’t forget to involve the local or regional press, making them part of your campaign. This will help to increase the visibility of Kattaikkuttu and the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam.

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How/Where can I donate?

You can donate the money you have collected, or any donation, to the Kattaikkuttu Sangam mentioning “Karna’s Eyes”.

Please do so by going to DONATE on this website. The Donate button will direct you to the website of Kalai Manram. Kalai Manram is our sister organization in The Netherlands. This small foundation entirely run by volunteers has been supporting the work of the Kattaikkuttu Sangam and Gurukulam since 1990. The Kattaikkuttu Sangam is by law not allowed to have a PayPal button on its website to receive donations from outside India. Kalai Manram will collect all donations and transfer them to the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, thus saving on paying bank commissions on individual contributions.

Alternatively, you can send your donation directly to the Foreign Contribution bank account of the Kattaikkuttu Sangam: State Bank of India account no. 0853/10943781419 using the SWIFT code of the corresponding bank SBININBB298 in favor of KATTAIKKUTTU SANGAM.

If you live in India, you should use the Local Contribution bank account of the Kattaikkuttu Sangam: State Bank of India account no. 10943781408, IFS code SBIN0000853 in favor of KATTAIKKUTTU SANGAM. Indian donors can save tax by availing of the Sangam’s income tax exemption under section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

There are no fixed amounts to be raised – we would like to leave this to your personal creativity and strength to convince others to contribute. However, with at least 100 participants we hope to raise a substantial amount anywhere between EUR 15.000/ and 25.000/ to cover the budget deficit the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam faces for the upcoming school year 2019-2020.


Funding Goals


Suggestions for fundraising