In the wake of the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic, many industries such as hospitality, transportation, apparel, food and beverages, manufacturing and construction, etc. have been hit severely.
One industry that is also suffering a severe setback is the art and craft industry.
A vast section of the rural population is employed in this industry and many artisans follow these traditions for hundreds of years. They are almost completely dependent on their craft to feed themselves and their families.
Despite their significance, artisans in India are often not remunerated fairly and they have been facing a financial crisis for a long time. The lockdown only worsened the situation for them.
It is, therefore, necessary that in this time of crisis, we join hands together and lift them up.
While the government does its job of providing financial aid and packages to the affected sectors, we can do our part by donating to NGOs that work for the welfare of local artisans.
India is quite equipped and capable of manufacturing good quality products and merchandise. Indian art is also rich and vibrant. Unfortunately, there exists a fad for imported goods and artefacts.
It is time that we honor our Prime Minister’s appeal of #vocalforlocal. Let us choose to empower and lift our artisans instead of opting for relying on imports.
An old saying goes, “if you want to feed a man for a day, give him food. If you want to feed him for life, teach him to fish.”
In this digital era, everything is available at a click. Internet and eCommerce is a very vital source of income even for artisans. Local artisans hailing from rural backgrounds, however, do not have access and knowledge to sell online.
We as fellow citizens with access to the internet and social media can help them by promoting their works. Giving them a shoutout, shooting a documentary, writing a blog, etc. are ways one can contribute.
There are also websites that actively engage in hosting artefacts and handicrafts designed and crafted by local, traditional artisans.
We at Artisanscrest take pride in being one of them where we bring together exquisite pieces of handmade paintings, sculptures, woodworks, textiles, jewellery, and more.
It is a sad reality that due to unfair and inadequate remuneration, more and more heirs of traditional artisanal families are opting for jobs outside the arts and crafts industry. If this curve continues, there will soon be a time when Indian art becomes history.
Schools and other institutes can organise paid programs where artisans engage in teaching students the traditional process of making different forms of art.
This will ensure more income for artisans while also keeps the art alive in young generations.
It is our duty and responsibility that we uplift our economy in an effective and all-inclusive manner. Let us become #atmanirbhar and support/empower Indian manufacturers, companies, entrepreneurs, and artisans.