About Sakthi Centre
The vision of Sakthi Centre is to empower young women so that they may arrive at a healthy self-esteem, and realize that they are human persons, with rights, talents, and abilities which can allow them to become healthy and productive members of society.
Sakthi Centre is a Public and Charitable and Educational Trust know as Sakthi Folk Cultural Centre.
The ultimate goal of the centre is emancipation of all persons. The rigid caste system has produced entrenched oppression in many forms. The Sakthi Centre represents a rare opportunity for these young women to discover and develop their full potential, and to gain a new understanding of their lives and potentials. Below, you see some photographs of the Sakthi Centre Facility in Tamil Nadu, India.
The Sakthi Centre is located on the edge of the ICM Congregation’s property. The beautiful artistry of the Sakthi Dancers has humble beginnings, with the dance steps being taught and tirelessly rehearsed in the simple surroundings of the Sakthi Centre. Below, you see the Sakthi Dancers rehearsing in the yard of the Sakthi Centre. The building with the thatched roof is used for indoor rehearsals. This building’s dimensions are identical to the 20′ x 30′ stage the dancers performed on when they appeared at St. John the Beloved Parish in Madden Hall on July 9th, 2011.
The Centre teaches much more than dance. Many basic life skills are instilled in the young women, from literacy, to health and hygiene, to communication skills, to several trades. In the photo below, you can see young women making baskets on the porch of the Sakthi Center.
Miss Taeko Kurokawa from Japan who did research at Tokyo on Indian Folk music came in contact with Sr. Chandra during the year 2000. She introduced Mr. Tajima Shinji who taught the Sakthi girls how to make hand made paper. If you look more closely at the photo below, you can see hand-made paper drying in the sun on the boards behind them.
The paper products created by the young women of the Sakthi Centre are very high quality, and they are made of exotic materials including banana leaves and cactus. These skills taught to them by their friends from japan give them yet another way to earn a living. The paper products are not sold in India, but rather, are sold in japan. We hope that soon we will be able to offer these high quality paper products for sale through this web site.
Miss Taeko Kurokawa also introduced Mr.Kazu Matsui from Japan to Sr.Chandra. Dr. Matsui has become a very loyal friend and supporter of the Sakthi centre. He produced many excellant videos about the Sakthi Centre including a full length documentary. Please watch the brief excerpts from Mr.Kazu Matsui’s documentary which are included on the pages of this web site to learn a little more about the mission and vision of the Sakthi Centre.
In addition to arranging for them to learn the paper making trade Miss Taeko Kurakowa arranged for the Sakthi Dancers to participate in the Yo Pe Fe 2005 (International Young Peoples Music Festival) at Korea and FESCO (Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution) 2008 award for Sr.Chandra for the recognition of her dedicated contribution to the humanity.
Joining Miss. Taeko Kurokawa, Mr.Kazu Matsui arranged for the Sakthi Dancers to tour Japan in the year 2008 and 2009. In the photo below you can see a bus which was bought to the Sakthi Centre by the contribution of their supporters in Japan.
Please watch this short interview with Mr. Matsui, where he shares his experiences in visiting and working with Sr. Chandra and Sakthi Center.
The Sakthi Centre was founded by Sister Chandra ICM. The Centre is making a profound difference in the lives of young women, and the villages in which they live. Already 280 young women have been trained through the program at the Sakthi Centre. Many of the trainees have graduated the program and gone on to begin their adult lives. Some of them have married, and some of them have chosen to stay on as staff at the Sakthi Center. These young staff members are called “Animators.” They teach what they have learned, and they also go out into the surrounding villages and speak to the adults. In doing so, they raise awareness for the Centre, and encourage a higher appreciation for the value of education.
There is so much to learn about the excellent work being accomplished at the Sakthi Centre. We are adding more in-depth knowledge as quickly as we can acquire the knowledge and photographs.
If you would like to contact Sr.Chandra directly, you may use the following contact information.
Director: Sr. Chandra ICM
Sakthi Folk Cultural Centre
K. Pudur, Balakrishnapuram P.O.
Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu
India 624 005
About the ICM Sisters:
Founded by Marie Louise De Meester or Mother Marie Louise De Meester (born April 8, 1857 in Roeselare, Belgium – died October 10, 1928 in Heverlee), the ICM sisters have existed in India since 1897. ICM is an acronym for the Latin, Immaculati Cordis Mariae or the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The congregation was formerly known as the Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine.
During her lifetime, Mother Marie Louise De Meester established missions in India, Philippines, China, the United States, Belgian Congo and other places in the world. She returned home to Belgium in 1928 and died peacefully at the age of 71.
Click the link here to learn more about the ICM Sisters
The Sakthi Centre reaches out to all oppressed young women of the district, regardless of religious affiliation. The emphasis is on oneness, and unity. Sister Chandra says that the basic human values of equality, unity, and the worth of the human person are the essence of Christian Gospel Values.