Janavak was born in 1982 for the revival and preservation of folk forms, be they music, dance, drama or others. It runs for the training, workshops, teaching and documenting of Bhavai, Gujarat’s folk drama form. Bringing renowned teachers and performers from the villages, it gives them financial support and also scholarships to students to study under them. Besides this, Janavak also commissions research into folk traditions and funds monographs, audio, video tapes and CD Roms.
Janavak has two performing groups. The first involved in Bhavai, works closely with Darpana for Development. The second is a group for folk dancing under the direction of Mallika Sarabhai. This group has a repertoire of folk dances from different parts of India like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
The group, which has performed extensively abroad in over twenty seven countries, is connected to CIOFF (Centre International des Organizations des Festivals Folkloriques), an international body of folk arts based in France.
Over the years the folk dance and music group has toured, performed and conducted workshops across the world.