The stage is all set for Kashi Tamil Sangamam (KTS) Phase 2 with the launch of its registration portal by Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) on 27th Nov.
Interested persons from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry can apply on the KTS portal – www.kashitamil.iitm.ac.in. The deadline to apply is 8th December 2023. The second edition of this Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme is proposed to be held from 17th December 2023, the first day of the holy Tamil month of Margali, to 30th December 2023.
Like its first edition, this programme proposes to take forward the objective of reviving the living bonds between Varanasi and Tamil Nadu – two important centres of learning and culture in ancient India – by facilitating people-to-people connect across different walks of life.
In Phase 2 of KTS, it is proposed that around 1,400 people from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will travel by train to Varanasi, Prayagraj and Ayodhya for an eight-day immersive tour, including the travel time. They will be divided into seven groups of around 200 each, comprising students, teachers, farmers, artisans, traders and businessmen besides religious, writers, professionals. Each group will be named after a sacred river such as Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sindhu, Narmada, Godavari and Cauvery.
The delegates will be taken to visit places of historical, tourist and religious interest and interact with people of Uttar Pradesh from their domains of work. The KTS 2.0 would have a crisper format with emphasis on awareness generation and outreach, people-to-people connect and cultural immersion.
The focus would be on increased engagement and interaction with local counterparts (weavers, artisans, artists, entrepreneurs, writers, etc.) to get insights into best practices, enhance learning and cross pollination of ideas.
The selection of delegates will be done by a selection committee constituted for the purpose. Post the selection, the delegates will be communicated for further process.
The Union Ministry of Education, Government of India, will be the nodal Ministry for the programme with participation from Ministries of Culture including ASI , Railways including IRCTC, Tourism, Textiles, Food Processing (ODOP), MSME, I&B, SD&E, and the departments concerned in the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
To capitalise upon learnings from Phase I and given their reputation for research, IIT Madras and IIT BHU will serve as the respective implementing agencies in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Delegate itinerary will include two days each for onward and return journeys; two days at Varanasi and one day each at Prayagraj and Ayodhya. Stalls exhibiting art and culture, handlooms, handicrafts, cuisine, and other special products of Tamil Nadu and Kashi will be erected. Cultural programmes blending the cultures of Tamil Nadu and Kashi will be organized at the Namo Ghat in Varanasi.
During this period, there will be academic exchanges – seminars, discussions, lectures, on various facets of knowledge like literature, ancient texts, philosophy, spirituality, music, dance, drama, yoga, Ayurveda, handlooms, handicrafts as well as the modern innovations, trade exchanges, edutech and other gen next technology.
Apart from experts and scholars, local practical practitioners from the above subjects, professionals from Tamil Nadu and Varanasi will also participate in these exchanges so that a body of practical knowledge/ innovations can emerge from the mutual learning in different fields.
Dedicated awareness generation and outreach activities would be organised by IIT Madras in coordination with institutions in Tamil Nadu. Workshops, seminars, meetings and other outreach campaign programs will be conducted from 1st December to 31st December 2023.
The first edition of Kashi Tamil Sangamam was held from 16th November to 16th December 2022 with a ‘whole of government’ approach. Over 2,500 people from Tamil Nadu, representing different 12 different walks of life, travelled to Varanasi, Prayagraj and Ayodhya on eight-day tours, during which they had an immersive experience of different aspects of life in and around Varanasi.