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Empowering Artisans: A Noble Cause

Write By: admin Published In: Artists & Craftsmen Created Date: 2013-03-09 Hits: 554 Comment: 0

What does a tailor, a potter, a ceramist and a weaver have in common? They are all artisans who are now challenged by a loss of market to commercially-made cheaper alternatives and most of them are living in poor economic conditions.

The treasures of India's arts and crafts that once occupied a pride of place in the lives of royalty, today lie lost in the annals of time, fighting a battle of survival with the trends-driven dynamics of the contemporary marketplace. Indian arts & crafts have existed since time immemorial and have been a representation of the many unique sub-cultures within the country. 

India is a country traditionally rich in arts and crafts. Artisans are the backbone of the non-farm rural economy, with an estimated 7 million artisans engaged in craft production. According to the United Nations, over the past 30 years, the number of Indian artisans has decreased by 30%. They, then either engage in manual labour work or are unemployed, abandoning their high level of handicraft skills.

On one side more than 40% of the India is dependent on crafts for a living but on the other side, the contribution of the crafts sector to the Indian economy is decreasing. The reasons include increase in competition, loss of urban consumer interest and the limited exposure of artisans to the market. Thus, the majority of the artisans are living in poor economic conditions and struggling to make a living.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”   ― Francis of Assisi

The need is to to keep crafts alive by empowering artisans and artisan businesses. They aim to improve the standard of living of the artisans and also encourage more people to seek crafts as a livelihood option. 

 

 

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