Indian handicraft despite it’s global recognition is now faced with near extinction, thanks to the the dawn of mass production.
Several NGOs and government schemes are in place to help the art thrive. One such not-for-profit organisation is the Dastkari Haat Samiti. For the past 26 years, it has been helping artisans achieve recognition through various schemes and programmes.
Showcasing over 30,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries of artisan families, this handicraft exhibition is held across different cities through the year. At Pune, they set up house at the Monalisa Kalagram at Koregaon Park and brought to the city a huge variety of artefacts, trinkets, textiles and more…
Artisans from across India have set up their stalls here. Ranging from ceramic pots to bamboo craft from Chhatisgarh, the exhibits are a sheer delight.
We spoke to some of the artisans on how their journey and craft:
The craftsman of the blocks used on saris, Mohammad Taiyyub, hails from a family that has been involved in this craft for generations. “My father, Mohammad Ayyub, is a national award winner,” he says as he puts the handcrafted blocks on display.
“These were traditionally used on saris and dupattas, but nowadays, it’s merely a fad. People like these prints on tablecloths, napkins and occasionally use the design for their tattoos.”
Another craftsman, Umesh Gupta, is the founder of the NGO, Lakshya Badthe Kadam. It is a self-help group for street children who use recycled materials to create bags, pouches and wallets. Gupta reminisces of the time that he’d run away from home along with his brother owing to the abject poverty they lived.
“I’m an NGO child actually,” he laughs. “I was practically brought up and educated by an NGO. As I grew up, I decided to start one of my own to help others like me,” he says.
Our photo story brings to you glimpses of the amazing work of these talented artisans from across the country.
The exhibition that opened on 4 November, 2017 is on till the 12th.
If you haven’t been there already, this is a must see !!
#Text and Photographs : Amulya Chintaluri for Pune365