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Gramin Khazana: Connecting Rural India to Global Market

Handicraft, Handloom and Authentic Indian Food….Beauty and creativity have so much to give....

Oh what magic those nimble fingers weave,

India has a unique heritage and culture of arts and handicrafts. Every region in India has a particular craft as its specialty – from Rajput miniatures of Rajasthan to Kalighat paintings of Bengal and from Nomads of Kashmir to Kanjivarams of Tamil Nadu.

With over 3,000 craft forms and amazing wealth of artisanal skills India is sitting on a veritable goldmine that has the potential to become a billion-dollar global market exemplifying all that is best about being ‘Made in India’.

Apart from these traditional arts, there are many talented individuals around the country who are adept at making some of the most interesting and beautiful works of art and craft. In fact, although India is home to more than seven million artisans, and despite arts & crafts being the second largest employer, after agriculture, the country presently has a paltry 2 percent share while China has a commanding 30 percent share in the global handmade industry.

The need of the hour is a holistic study and review of the rural crafts sector, its constituents, and its exponents.

Our endeavor has been to work in collaboration with the artisans and their communities to understand the challenges they face in practicing their craft. Through our interaction we encourage the artisans to incorporate their culture into the products they make for the urban market. This makes the products personal for them, and introduces the customer to the cultural narrative of their community. Simultaneously we work in the urban areas to engage young people between the age group of 18-30 in traditional Indian crafts and culture. As people come forward to engage in these activities, they get involved on various levels – from volunteering with us, to connecting us to more people passionate about the issues we work on. Based on our interaction with both rural and urban communities, we realize that there exists a need to create a platform to bridge the gap between the two communities. It is this bridge that we seek to build through our activities, and interactive events.

We encourage the artisans to carry forward their tradition as well as understand the changing dynamics of the modern marketplace. By enabling them to gauge the urban market and make art pieces more relevant and adaptable to the global environment.  At the same time we seek to spread awareness about the nuances of folk art in the urban milieu through film screenings, festivals and exhibitions. We try to create space in the pop and contemporary culture for the handmade and folk art through a narrative that brings to life the richness of an India many of us still do not know. Through these kinds of initiatives and activities we endeavor to promote collaboration between the artisans and the urban brands and thereby ensure the various art and craft forms find place in the dynamic art culture of the world.   

The way forward is to harness the power of information and communication technologies to drive the growth – socially and economically – of these crafts communities across the country. Our goal is to provide an online ecommerce platform with a robust backend in place, and promote a substantial understanding of the target market that allows tribal artisans to market and sell their products. We also seek to ensure that the major share of the proceeds from the online sale go directly to artisans, with no middleman eating into the amount.

Since it's an online marketplace we are pushing artisan families to give emphasis on variety rather than quantity. Handicraft products are high on demand and all that is required is the right branding and packaging which online brands will provide. 

Employing Artisans Online

We will be engaging with artisans and craftsmen in tribal regions of India as well as with various women groups.

We will be procuring only from rural and tribal areas thereby making sure that the artisans are not displaced for livelihood opportunities.

Our focus shall be on functional utility items thus taking the handicrafts to the next level, ensuring handicrafts are perceived not just as decorative or gift items but are seen as regular use items too.

By procuring directly from artisans we will help reduce the supply chain and enable the customers get handicrafts at a fair price, thus increasing consumption of handicrafts viz-a-viz machine made products.

We will be providing customer feedback to artisans so that they can improve their designs and production processes.