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  Archives » Craft: A Means to Livelihood Security
 

In Kutch, in village Boha, the artisans have pitched up a large tent. They all sit together and do embroidery. Manchhaba an artisan says- "Bring us more work, only this will help bring normalcy back to our lives and our village. Without work, home and food, the black day keeps us haunting. We become dull – cannot think of future".

Following the earthquake, which ripped across Gujarat on January 26, 2001 coupled with the on-going drought in its second successive year, the livelihood security of the people living in the regions of Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch are at stake. In order to ensure that the livelihood security is guaranteed, there is a strong need to take stock of the skill-base of the region and up-scale the community-based employment opportunities in the disaster affected areas. This would include creating employment opportunities for 15,000 highly skilled artisans living in these regions for a period of at least ten months.
 
 


Atleast our skill brought immediate work and dignity back to life! We feel secured now".
 

The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) which consists of 300,000 poor self-employed women members, has been working in these drought prone (and now earthquake devastated) areas for the past 10 years. SEWA has promoted many grassroots (producer) organisations, which include Banascraft and Kutchcraft Association.

These associates were formed to support local women in their efforts to preserve and promote their traditional craft skills. It also aims to assist them in marketing so that their skill becomes a continuous source of employment. Now women no longer have to depend on state-supported "relief work" (mainly digging and road construction work) for survival. Instead they embroider and market their own exquisite products, eliminating middle-men and exploitative traders.

 

In order to have greater market penetration, they have tied up with prominent product developers and designers from the US and Europe, who then developed a range of products appropriate for the niche market.

This new range of products were then market-tested in the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) in August 2000 and Jan 2001, where they received substantial interest.

Now, in this critical period, both Banascraft and Kutchcraft want to substantially upscale their production and subsequently increase their market penetration and outreach.

It is now are endeavour to actively market their exquisite handmade products so that these skilled artisans can earn a decent livelihood. We would like to request you to associate with our objectives.

   
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Self Employed Women's Association
SEWA Reception Centre, Opp. Victoria Garden, Bhadra, Ahmedabad - 380 001. India.
Phone : 91-79-25506444 / 25506477 / 25506441, Fax : 91 - 79 - 25506446, Email :mail@sewa.org
     
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