Charity walk 2022
Increasing awareness and support for Tamil studies and culture in the UK
Sharavana Baba Community Centre to Thiruvalluvar Statue, Central London
Saturday 10th December 2022 @ 09:30am
Tamil is one of the oldest languages in existence. Under the guidance of our beloved Babaji, we will be undertaking a sponsored walk from the Sharavana Baba Community Centre to Thiruvalluvar's Statue in the London Borough of Camden.
Thiruvalluvar is a cornerstone of Tamil literature. His most celebrated work, the Thirukurral, resides in the hearts and minds of millions of Tamil people globally.
All funds raised will support the development and help establish a modern and inclusive beacon of Tamil studies in SOAS, University of London's South Asian Institute.
What is TamilStudiesUK?
TamilStudiesUK is a fundraising campaign for a much-needed Tamil department at SOAS, University of London for our young and aspiring Tamil learners to pursue Tamil at university level.
Tamil was taught at SOAS between 1916 – 2000 and has not continued since then because of government funding cuts. Reinstating Tamil at SOAS is vital for the Tamil diaspora and Tamil enthusiasts to pursue Tamil Studies in order to sustain the language and culture.
Moreover, the department at SOAS would be instrumental in standardising the
syllabus for Tamil schools, make recommendations for UCAS points and conduct examinations in Tamil as well as monitor the quality of the programme.
A long-term endowment of £10 million is required to reinstate the department and sustain it for the lifetime of the University. Out of this £10 million, £6 million will be used for the academic position and £4 million will be used for the scholarships.
The department will start functioning with a teaching faculty as soon as the £10 million endowment is secured.
Why SOAS, University of London?
The breadth and depth of SOAS’s expertise in South Asia make it the perfect home for Tamil Studies initiative. SOAS is home to the South Asia Institute which represents the most extensive and diverse community of scholars working in the region of any university in Europe. With over 65 academics covering a wide range of topics related to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives, the Institute has established itself as an internationally renowned centre for multidisciplinary research and training, offering specialist degree programmes and expert analysis, as well as forging important partnerships with academic institutions in the region.
The SOAS Library boasts over 150,000 resources on European and South Asian languages. It has amassed one of the most substantial open collections of Tamil-published books and manuscripts in the UK, second only to the British Library. Its location in the heart of London also makes SOAS the ideal home for this initiative. London has one of the most substantial Tamil-diaspora populations globally as well as a wealth of cultural, intellectual and humanitarian institutions such as Asia House, The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, The Nehru Centre and the Tamil branch of the BBC, which would all benefit from the development of the Tamil presence at SOAS. London also hosts many weekend Tamil Schools, with many volunteer teachers offering basic and intermediate instruction to students up to the age of 18. They would also be direct beneficiaries of an advanced Tamil Studies programme within London.
SOAS is also the home of the beloved statue of the famous Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, whose presence has illuminated the SOAS campus for over 20 years. The SOAS Students Union hosts an active Tamil Society which organises a varied programme of events for anyone interested in Tamil culture and issues.