New Delhi (28/11/2023): The stage is all set for Kashi Tamil Sangamam Phase 2 with the launch of its registration portal by IIT Madras on 27th November, 2023. The second edition of this Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme is proposed to be held from December 17th, the first day of the holy Tamil Margali month, 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 1400 people from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will travel by train to Varanasi, Prayagraj and Ayodhya for an 8 day immersive tour, including the travel time. They will be divided into 7 groups of around 200 each, comprising students, teachers, farmers & artisans, traders& businessmen, religious, writers, professionals. Each group will be named after a sacred river (Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sindhu, Narmada, Godavari and Kaveri)
The delegates will see places of historical, tourist and religious interest and interact with people of UP from their domains of work. KTS 2.0 would have a crisper format with emphasis on awareness generation & 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 Ministry of Education 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 concerned departments in Govt. of UP. To capitalise upon learnings from Phase I and given their reputation for research, IIT Madras will serve as the implementing agency in TN and BHU in UP.
Delegate itinerary will include 2 days onward journey – 2 days return; 2 days at Varanasi and 1 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 set up, cultural programmes blending the cultures of Tamil Nadu and Kashi will be organized at Namo Ghat in Varanasi. During this period there will be academic exchanges – seminars, discussions, lectures, lec dems 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 etc. Apart from experts and scholars, local practical practitioners from the above subjects / professions 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 identified institutions in Tamil Nadu with workshops, seminars, meetings and other outreach campaign programs being conducted from 1st December to 31st December.
IIT Madras has called for applications on the KTS portal launched today, from people of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry who wish to participate in the programme. The selection of delegates will be done by a selection committee constituted for the purpose.
The first edition of Kashi Tamil Sangamam was held from November 16th to December 16th 2022, with a whole of government approach. Over 2500 people from Tamil Nadu, representing 12 different walks of life, had travelled to Varanasi, Prayagraj and Ayodhya on 8 day-tours, during which they had an immersive experience of different aspects of life in and around Varanasi.