M Rafi Ahmed
Taking a cue from the inspiring words of Missile Man of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam—-Winners are not those who never fail, but who never quit, a 21 year old youth with innate talents developed his passion for folk and traditional arts and created record of the sorts by exhibiting his skills to win UN Global Compact award this year.Dr Kalaiarasan, founder of Gramiya Pudhalvan Academy while sharing this info with this scribe said that it’s a matter of great pride for him in getting the global recognition to recognise his 32 different folk art forms. Armed with several world records for his feat, he said that his magnum opus is when he made heads turn for his spine chilling performance of Karagam with 18,200 needles on his eye lashes.Interestingly, his outstanding feat with 1000 Parai Isai artistes performing continuously for one hour in unison in the formation of a bird’s image became the talk of the town as this entered six global book of records. Similarly, his students also created three global records to bring laurels to his organisation.In a touch of pride, he said that he named his academy based on the ‘Gramiya Pudhalvan’ award presented by former chief minister Jayalalithaa during an awards distribution event in Chennai. He has to his credit honorary doctorate by The Diocese of Asia besides Tamil Nadu government’s ambassador for arts.With over 15,000 students getting training in different traditional art forms across the academy’s 83 branches in Tamil Nadu, Kalaiarasan said that he is all set to open his 84th branch as the headquarter for his academy at Gandhi Managar neighbourhood in Coimbatore city soon.