Handicrafts, yes is one thing which is associated with us since our childhoods. When we were creating any art and craft projects actually we were creating a handicraft product. We all have memories of own created handicrafts. Those paper aeroplanes, boats, paper flowers then to those wall hangings, photo frames are such examples which we did on our own or with our siblings. I really appreciate those memories of our creations, but my topic for writing Handicrafts and You is a bit different. I would be talking about the Handicraft as an Industry and about the artisans who are doing their efforts to bring their work to us.
When we talk about handicrafts, we can easily associate location or a particular art form quickly. There are multiple locations which have been associated with these handicrafts; for example Moradabad is famous for its brass art-wares, Lucknow for its chicken embroidery, Saharanpur for its wood work, Rampur for its patchwork, Aligarh for its hardware, Agra for its marble work, Kanpur for its leather work. The people involved in this art have been part of this tradition for generations.
During our study we found though these people, called artisans are doing this job where whole family is involved. Their work is incredible. Generally, the head of the family is involved into the end to end activity from building the product to selling it to the market. There are multiple complex activities in making a handicraft product, from procuring of raw material and final destination of the product to its user. Though they are doing their bit by keeping on this tradition alive, but in between a situation arises where even the genuine interest of the public these artisans are not able to earn their living. We have seen the situation, during the six months span of this study, many artisans are forced to look methods for alternate options of their living.
When in India, we all are proudly talking about Make In India so as a part of this initiative or being an Indian we should all buy handicrafts products as much as possible and as many as we can.
I hope we need not to run a campaign like “Be Indian, Buy Indian” to promote our Handicrafts and make a difference in the living of our artisans.
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