Somaiya Kala Vidya, a division of the K.J. Somaiya Gujarat Trust, was established in March 2014. Its strengths are both a deep understanding of culture and arts, and focus on the artisan.

Working years with Kutch artisans, in 2003 Founder Director Judy Frater received an Ashoka Fellowship to found Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, the first design school for artisans. In 2009, she received the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Service to Design Education. Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya significantly raised the standard of design in craft, and the income and ethics of artisans. After successfully operating KRV for eight years, Frater joined forces with K.J. Somaiya Trust to build the program to an institute.

Building on its core design education program Somaiya Kala Vidya then launched the "post graduate" course Business and Management for Artisans (BMA), outreach programs, and a course in Kutch Textile Traditions.

SKV teaches artisans to use design, business, as well as traditional identity effectively for new markets. Approaching education through a vital subject, the institute enables direct access to higher education, raises the capacity of artisans and generates value for traditional arts.

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Founded by Padma Bhushan Shri Karamshi Jethabhai Somaiya, the K.J. Somaiya Trust and The Somaiya Trust support Somaiya Vidyavihar, The K.J. Somaiya Medical Trust, The Girivanvasi Education Trust and Pragati Mandal, comprising over 34 educational institutions, extending from elementary level to Ph.D, rural to urban, vocational to professional, and covering diverse areas including medicine, the arts and sciences, engineering, religion, vocational studies, education, languages, and tribal development.

Currently, over 35,000 students study in these all of these institutions. Somaiya Kala Vidya, the latest initiative of The Somaiya Trust, takes forward the dream of late Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya, who wanted to start an education initiative in his native Kutch. Samir Somaiya currently leads The K.J. Somaiya Trust as well as its activities.

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Our logo

SKV's jubilant flying parrot symbolizes the joy of innovation within tradition. It was designed by renowned animator Nina Sabnani, in collaboration with SKV’s Sajnuben Pachan Rabari, Dayalal Kudecha, Judy Frater, and Piyush.

Judy gave the brief to embroiderers: illustrate what we teach at SKV. Sajnuben made a parrot, spunky but still. Nina and her colleague Piyush made the parrot fly! Dayabhai turned the colour wheel until all the colours worked. Nina then added the title, in Optima, a favorite font. But the logo still needed something... Nina placed the mirror from Jivaben's motif above the title. Bingo. The logo was born.

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