DWARAKA, an art revival movement for the Development of Weavers And Rural Artisans in Kalmakari Art, was established by philanthropist Sri. V.Dwaraknath Reddy in Srikalahasthi region of Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh and is committed to the development of artisans cutting across all borders. Started in 1998 by DRRT (Ramanarpanam Trust), it revived the fading out traditional, heritage art form of hand painted kalamkari on textiles that had once flourished on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River. DWARAKA Plus, the Peoples Livelihoods Upliftment Society, was formed in 2009 to empower the rural women artisans, making them it the only social enterprise of and for the artists themselves in Srikalahasthi, promoting a sustainable initiative, retaining the authenticity of the art form using natural dyes. Women once marginalized are skilled in hand painted kalamkari art by master artists of the local kalamkari community. Dwaraka has skilled over 500 hundred artists, and 108 of them form the core of the art society as of today. The real impact is in the domino effect that Dwaraka has had in the region where its indirect outreach has touched approximately over 2500 artisans who today earn their livelihoods creating the most artistic sarees, dupattas, stoles etc. Yet another 100 women craft contemporary and very affordable bags, home and interior décor, bags, boxes and gift items too with the exquisite hand painted Kalamkari art textiles.
The original ‘Kalam’ is DWARAKA PLUS’s symbol for tradition and authenticity.