Life Membership Fee—Individual: Rs 3,000/-
Present Strength: 1325 (May 2011)
Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram, as the title implies, is a multi-faceted cultural centre established in the name of one of Kerala’s most celebrated modern poets, Changampuzha Krishna Pillai. It is situated in a two-acre park established and named after the great poet in Edappally, Kochi, where he spent most of his creative years tending the muses, and has his final resting place. The Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram (CSK) is conveniently located just five km. from Ernakulam Town, on the main road to Aluva and has idyllic surroundings that give an ambiance appropriate to its reputed cultural ethos. For, Edappally has been lucky to wear the halos of its other illustrious sons, like Poet Edappally Raghavan Pillai, historian K.P. Padmanabha Menon, thespian P.J. Antony, to mention only three.
The eponymous institution is not just a cultural centre as the title modestly implies; it embraces the whole gamut of arts in their many-splendored forms. Started in 1997 by a group of zealous lovers of the arts, CSK’s avowed objective is promotion of the protean culture of our country in general and that of Kerala in particular. That is to say, the entire range of Malayalam literature and all of Kerala’s other art forms are in the focus of its activities. While fostering all art forms the emphasis is on revival and development of Kerala’s glorious heritage in literature, music, dance and painting, undefiled by vulgarity, commercialism and politics. It will not be disputed that some of our rich inheritance in this domain, especially folk music and dance forms, metal, wood and stone carvings etc. are dying for want of patronage, and are in dire need of immediate resuscitation.
CSK is registered under the Charitable and Cultural Societies Act and is governed by a 24-member executive committee elected for a three-year term. The committee includes men and women of letters, artistes from different streams, working and retired bureaucrats and keen connoisseurs of the arts, all of whom are committed to work for the healthy growth of the institution. The Founding Committee of Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram consisted of :-
K. Balachandran (President) T.A. Ahmmed Kabir
T.M. Sankaran (Vice-President) N.K.A. Lathief
T.K.P. Panicker (Secretary) V. Ramachandran
P. Prakash (Treasurer) T.S. Siddharthan
K.L. Mohana Varma P.G.Radhakrishnan
Kalamandalam Kesavan P.V. Benjamin
Mr. K. Balachandran (Former Mayor of Kochi and former Chairman of GCDA) continues at the helm of affairs of CSK, helping it to develop and grow to ever greater heights. Mr G. Gopinathan Pillai is the new Secretary and Mr. Joseph Souhardan Treasurer for the next three years.
Apart from the elected members of the executive committee the Ernakulam M.P, the Tripunithura M.L.A., District Collector, Kochi Mayor, the G.C.D.A. Chairperson and the G.C.D.A. Secretary are permanent invitees to the EC meeting. The broad-based governance of CSK is thus truly representative of Edappally’s effulgent socio-cultural milieu.
The executive committee (EC) of CSK gets many of the functions carried out through various sector-wise units formed under its auspices. It lays down policy guidelines, coordinates activities of different wings, arranges technical and material supports and provides financial assistance and advice where necessary. It may thus seem just an umbrella organization. But it is much more than that. It has several onerous functions which do not fall under the purview of the sector-wise managing committees. For instance, holding commemorative meetings, honouring men of letters, instituting endowments in memory of eminent artistes, allocating use of its two stages and other paraphernalia for functions that occur almost daily, interfacing in matters official, etc. are under EC’s direct domain.
Some of the sector-wise units are registered separately and have their own managing committees (MCs). The prominent among these units are Edappally Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas, Edappally Sangeetha Sadas, Edappally Senior Citizens Forum ( Pl. see Links for sector-wise details of these units). These MCs conduct their intra- mural affairs largely independently. The vibrant activities of these constituents in consonance with the executive committee make Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram a name to reckon with on the art-and-culture map of Kerala.