C.S. Lakshmi talks about Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women and the “Songs of Sorrow, Songs of Joy” raffle to be held in Mumbai next week to raise funds for the institution.
“When SPARROW was started in 1988…it was in my bedroom. So there was a great need to rent space. And, you know, in Mumbai, renting is very expensive.”
The voice quavers slightly as C.S. Lakshmi, (known in the world of Tamil literature as Ambai) writer and director of SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women), describes its beginnings. Dressed unostentatiously in a cobalt-blue salwar kameez, with a matching bindi and a halo of short silvery hair, Lakshmi exudes a passion for her cause. “In 1992, we organised a painting exhibition where we invited several artists. From this exhibition we raised some money… not much. It was the first time we organised an exhibition of its kind…The artists were very generous; they donated very generously.”
Need for funds
Things have come full circle; there is a need for funds once more. “Recently, in 2008, SPARROW acquired a building of its own and we have spent the entire corpus that we had. ‘Songs of Sorrow, Songs of Joy' is a charity raffle in aid of a corpus fund for SPARROW to be held on March 8. I have a friend who owns a gallery and who is also an event manager, Anupa Mehta, who conceived the idea of inviting only women painters… she contacted the artists and arranged everything. It is basically a way of artists coming together to support a women's organisation.”
Full report here The Hindu