The KATTAIKKUTTU GURUKULAM is the Sangam’s flagship program established in 2002. The Gurukulam is an indigenous knowledge center and a residential school where 50 students between six and eighteen years old live, study and train together with their teachers and caregivers.
“We are proud to welcome into our school children from the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Tamil Nadu. By providing them access to artistic, academic and professional skills, we are raising a future generation of capable individuals who have the tools to meet the vast challenges they and their families face on a daily basis. It is our goal that our students can meet the world empowered, regardless of the challenging circumstances they were born under. We achieve this by maintaining a strong sense of gender equity, equal rights and respect for each other, and equal access to all of our academic and artistic programming.”
The Gurukulam is the realization of a visionary dream that P. Rajagopal expressed to his Dutch wife Hanne M. de Bruin: he wanted to bring Kattaikkuttu training and education together under one and the same roof so that other children, in contrast to himself, would no longer be forced to leave school when they opt for a career in Kattaikkuttu.
“We see Kattaikkuttu as a unique body of pragmatic knowledge and an experiential, sensorial and cognitive form of “doing” and “knowing” that, in our vision, is education.
Our mission is to explore Kattaikkuttu's traditional artistic knowledge and communicative power and combine it with sophisticated craftsmanship and perfection to create performance events that address multiple audiences: rural, urban, national and global. By integrating a liberal education with the performing arts, we promote and contemporizes Kattaikkuttu and ensures sustainable careers for its young professional performers.”