APPL Foundation’s initiative for the promotion of indigenous art and culture has prompted an innovative approach that focuses on the unique cultural heritage of the tribal communities of the tea gardens. These communities collectively came to be known as the Tea Tribes. They emerged with the tea plantation in Assam and have since then, immensely contributed not only to the growth of the tea industry but also to the State Exchequer. The Assam tea community constitutes 24% of Assam’s total population. As these tribes were initially inducted from different parts of the country, the tea estates became a melting pot of diverse cultural practices. The Sirish™ Festival is an attempt to promote, exhibit and preserve these distinct cultural and art forms and facilitate their integration into mainstream Assamese society.
We, at the Foundation, believe that for coexistence and mutual progress of the diverse communities to be realisable on the tea estates, there needs to be meaningful cultural exchanges between them. The Festival also aims to provide recognition to the personalities who have contributed significantly to the field of art and culture from within the tea community. Awards were presented to two icons from within the tea community for their contribution in the fields of literature and culture.