Cre­at­ing a roadmap for sur­vival and pro­tec­tion of hand­loom & hand­i­crafts

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

F ICCI Ladies Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FLO) or­gan­ised an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion on 'Hand­loom & Hand­i­craft: Sur­vival and In­te­gra­tion into the Main­stream' on May 12, 2015 in New Delhi. The pan­elists were Wa­ja­hat Habibul­lah, former Chief In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia; Jaya Jaitly, So­cial Ac­tivist & Chairperson, Dastkari Haat Samiti; Ritu Ku­mar, Renowned Fash­ion De­signer and Laila Tyabji, Founder Mem­ber and Chairperson, Dastkar.

The panel dis­cus­sion was or­gan­ised to high­light the way for­ward for cre­at­ing a holis­tic plan for hand­looms and hand­i­crafts, and also ideat­ing on cre­at­ing bet­ter mar­ket link­ages and liveli­hood for crafts­peo­ple.

In her wel­come ad­dress, Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO, said, “It is very im­por­tant that we un­der­stand the true po­ten­tial of hand­looms & hand­i­crafts and its sig­nif­i­cant role in pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment to a vast seg­ment of craftsper­son and pre­serve the in­tan­gi­ble her­itage of our coun­try. FLO has taken this op­por­tu­nity to bring to­gether a panel of stal­warts from the field and pro­vide a plat­form for dis­cussing, ideat­ing and high­light­ing var­i­ous is­sues that af­fect the hand­loom & hand­i­craft sec­tor.”

Jy­ot­sna Kaur Habibul­lah, Day Chair & Chap­ter Chairperson, FLO Luc­know-Kan­pur Chap­ter, pre­sented an over­view of the pro­gramme and high­lighted FLO's per­spec­tive. She said that there has been a re­newed in­ter­est in the hand­made and hand­crafted prod­ucts glob­ally and In­dia has a rich and di­verse ar­ray of crafts. She added that th­ese lan­guish­ing crafts need resur­gence to meet the con­tem­po­rary stan­dards, re­sult­ing in cre­at­ing bet­ter and wider mar­kets. The ne­ces­sity of pro­vid­ing the right mar­ket and financial link­ages, train­ing to up­grade their skills, boost­ing the ex­po­sure to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and en­hanc­ing their de­signs, was un­der­lined by Habibul­lah.

The pan­elists shared their ex­pe­ri­ences in the field and sug­gested ways to ex­ploit the po­ten­tial of th­ese sec­tors in a more struc­tured way and pro­vide the nec­es­sary boost to pre­serve,

pro­mote and in­te­grate the in­valu­able tra­di­tional skills.

Wa­ja­hat Habibul­lah, former Chief In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and former Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Tex­tiles, was the mod­er­a­tor of the ses­sion. He men­tioned that the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has nu­mer­ous schemes for the ben­e­fit of craftsper­son in terms of skill de­vel­op­ment, fi­nanc­ing schemes, clus­ter for­ma­tion etc., but due to dearth of ef­fec­tive pub­lic­ity and lack of aware­ness, th­ese schemes have not been able to as­sist the ben­e­fi­cia­ries. While em­pha­sis­ing on the need for a more ef­fec­tive model to reach out to the tar­get au­di­ence, he cited the ex­am­ple of Thai­land, wherein vil­lages be­come eco­nomic clus­ters and act as the ac­cess to tech­ni­cal and financial know-how for the vil­lages.

Jaya Jaitly, So­cial Ac­tivist & Chairperson, Dastkari Haat Samiti, who has been an avid promoter and cham­pion of In­dia's arts and crafts cot­tage in­dus­tries, pro­vided key in­sights to the sec­tor and stressed on an ef­fec­tive Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship model to pro­vide the right boost to th­ese sec­tors. “A self-sus­tain­ing model is the best model for pro­mot­ing hand­loom and hand­i­crafts. Small pro­duc­ers come to­gether and com­bine their en­ergy to make it most vi­able. Un­der such model, three Bazaars be­ing or­gan­ised by small pro­duc­ers in the last three to four months, gave an over­whelm­ing sales fig­ure of Rs. 10 crore, which is re­mark­able”, said Jaitly.

Renowned fash­ion de­signer, Ritu Ku­mar shared her ex­pe­ri­ences and stressed the im­por­tance for cre­at­ing the right mar­ket link­age and en­hanc­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween crafts­men and mar­ket re­quire­ment. “It is im­por­tant to cus­tomise what is be­ing pro­duced by hand skills to what is re­quired by the cur­rent mar­ket and fu­ture mar­ket. The de­sign­ing needs to be up­graded to meet the con­tem­po­rary stan­dards,” she added.

Laila Tyabji, Founder Mem­ber and Chairperson, Dastkar, a Del­hibased non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, work­ing for the re­vival of tra­di­tional crafts in In­dia was very ar­tic­u­late with her ex­pe­ri­ences and sug­ges­tions for the sur­vival of the crafts. “Hand­looms are the one area where In­dia leads the world in skill, cre­ativ­ity and ex­per­tise. Hand­loom cre­ates dis­tinc­tive weaves and de­signs that no pow­er­loom can repli­cate. In­dian hand­loom is more than a po­ten­tial global eco­nomic force; it is also our iden­tity. It needs to be pro­tected,” said Tyabji.

L to R: Vinita Bimb­het, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, FLO; Ritu Ku­mar, Renowned Fash­ion De­signer; Wa­ja­hat Habibul­lah, former Chief In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia; Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO; Jaya Jaitly, So­cial Ac­tivist & Chairperson, Dastkari Haat Samiti; Jy­ot­sna Kaur Habibul­lah, Day Chair & Chap­ter Chair, FLO Luc­know-Kan­pur Chap­ter; Laila Tyabji, Founder Mem­ber and Chairperson, Dastkar and Dr. Manju Kalra Prakash, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, FLO.

Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO, ad­dress­ing a ses­sion.

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