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A life of purpose — nurturing one’s inner calling

Tulika Kedia's personal and professional journey of nurturing her inner calling for philanthropic work is adorned with pioneering ‘firsts’ but is far from being over. 

Published 4 months ago on Mar 22, 2021 4 minutes Read

Mrs Tulika Kedia

MD – Singinawa Jungle Lodge

President DPS Kampee Road & Mihan, Nagpur

At the realm of affairs, Tulika juggles between multiple roles, equally demanding in nature. She is the founder and director of Must Art Gallery (New Delhi), MD at Singinawa Jungle Lodge (Kanha), founder and director of The Singinawa Conservation Foundation, founder of The Kanha Museum of Life & Art and President of Delhi Public School (Kamptee and Mihan in Nagpur). Having delved into philanthropy as a lifetime mission, Tulika believes that all these roles are an integral part of her persona, almost like a symbiotic expression of her own identity. She’s set an example to show that an interdependency between one’s personal growth and professional engagements can create a holistic scenario empowering both, the individual and their environment to cohabit in a balanced manner. This outlook is the foundation of her burgeoning yet firm steps in the arena of philanthropic work. Let’s take a sneak peek into her entrepreneurial world.

Reviving India's indigenious art

Tulika set up Must Art Gallery in 2010 with a one-point agenda of bringing together artists and patrons for celebrating the myriad forms and expressions of India’s art heritage. It holds many museum-quality art forms alongside a full repertoire of contemporary artists working in the indigenous art idiom. These include art of Baiga, Bhil, Gond, Kalamkari, Kalighat, Rogan, Saura, Warli, Patachitra, Pichwai, Madhubani, Sanjhi, among several others. This pioneering platform has given an access to urban audiences to experience, both the simplistic and grandeur effects of India’s indigenous art in a way that had not been done before. For over a decade, the gallery has consistently provided holistic support to young artists and developers via scholarships, exhibitions and outreach activities and partnerships with curators and academics.

Oscar Wilde’s famous words, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life”, tells us a lot about how art resides in every inch of life at Singinawa Jungle Lodge (where the Kedia family is a stakeholder), situated in 56 acres of grasslands, in the heart of Kanha National Park. Tulika is the face behind the Kanha Museum of Life and Art,  a 1,000 square foot museum existing within the estate, singing an epic of the native Gond and Baiga artisans and their labors of love. ‘The Pottery Village Experience’ within the premises of the museum is an extension of Tulika’s collaboration with un-sung heroes from the Baiga, Bhil and Gond tribes of Central India who are painstakingly keeping the aura of the region’s pottery forms alive.

Her accomplishments don’t end here. She collaborated with French critic and curator Hervé Perdriolle, to publish, Indian Contemporary Art: Contemporary, One Word, Several Worlds, one of the most comprehensive books on Indian tribal art. In 2016 she independently authored Contemporary Expressions:Art of The Jogi Family —  which was launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Ecological restoration and wildlife conservation for generations ahead
The Singinawa Conservation Foundation, set up in 2016 by Tulika is committed towards ecological restoration and meaningful, long-term engagements with the land, the wildlife and the people of Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. Along with promoting local talent, reducing carbon footprint and benefiting the local communities, the Foundation promotes energy conservation; having already installed a 10KVA solar power plant at the Kanha Museum of Life and Art. It continues to support schools and healthcare programs for multiple villages of the region. As member, advisory board of the Johari Medical Research Foundation (JMRF), Tulika has streamlined her efforts to hold free eye-checkup camps, health care programmes, and other services in the sector. The foundation takes complete care of sending villagers to Mumbai for operative procedures and treatments whenever required.

Redefining education

As an educationist and President of Delhi Public School (DPS) - Kamptee and Mihan in Nagpur, Tulika has set industry benchmarks by embracing and building on the principle that students learn best when they are given a chance to take ownership of their own learning. Take DPS Mihan for example, which has channelized its resources to put in place a rain harvesting system enabling the school to recharge the water level and prevent flooding of its campus area. In the year 2018-19, the school was awarded with the Paryavaran Rakshak Award during the Green Olympiad  by Griha Council as an acknowledgement to its focused efforts in this space.

Tulika is a staunch believer in creating a multi-dimensional learning environment based on inclusive learning that considers the diverse needs and backgrounds of all students and gives them an equal access to learning- essential to developing an expansive world view at an early age. She has played a pivotal role in introducing holistic development initiatives like graded life skills curriculum, an approach which is yet to become mainstream in India. It is not merely the curriculum but also the honing of personality traits and experiences that are carried forward in life. This philosophy has placed these two institutions on a par with other schools in the metropolitan cities of India.

Tulika’s sustained vision over the last two decades are a precursor to an impactful journey towards philanthropy of an ardent believer and doer.

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