Bulu Imam is an environmentalist and cultural activist working for the protection of tribal culture and heritage in Jharkhand. On 12 June 2012, he received the Gandhi International Peace Award at the House of Lords in London, and is also a recipient of the Padma Shri Award, 2019.
TWAC was founded by Bulu Imam in 1993 from a unique tribal art project under the aegis of INTACH Hazaribagh Chapter for creating artworks on paper supported by the Australian High Commission, New Delhi.
The reason for the founding of the Cooperative was to highlight the prehistoric rock-art of the region connected with the Khovar and Sohrai mural painting tradition. It also aims to bring to the tribal women of the region a sense of strength in their identity and as a means of economic support.
The profits received through exhibitions and sale of artworks are divided into three accounts- (i) Welfare Fund for women artists, (ii) Employment Fund through which a third of all earnings goes directly to the artist, and (iii) Cooperative Maintenance fund.
The Cooperative was started with about 40 women artists which began to bring the art on walls of the mud houses to paper and paint professionally. Today, the Cooperative's initiative empowers hundreds of women enabling their art to be exhibited in over 70 international exhibitions in major venues around the world.