The livelihood of artisans across India is being threatened by low demand, limited market opportunities, and middlemen's exploitation. gaonkasaman
Mar 21

The livelihood of artisans across India is being threatened by low demand, limited market opportunities, and middlemen's exploitation.

Mar 21

“The artisans are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet and some of them have even started to abandon their crafts.”, Siddiqa Malik, chair of the Indus Heritage Trust (IHT), stated in one of the press meets. Markets in the mainstream are frequently closed to artists. Since they work primarily through intermediaries, they have little access to or contact with raw material suppliers. They are at a disadvantage because it's crucial to be familiar with various providers to bargain for the best price and quality. These artists have few connections and marketing opportunities for export. They rely on regional melas or exhibitions because they have limited access to overseas markets and because there aren't many of them to sell their handmade crafts.

Living circumstances are rapidly increasing throughout Asia and around the world in the twenty-first century, but frequent economic changes are also making it harder for people to support their fundamental needs. With the help of essential tools, Indian artists intricately craft a variety of artefacts, from utilitarian items to beautiful pieces out of paper, wood, clay, shells, rock, stone, metal, etc. These artisanal enterprises are wholly dependent on traditional knowledge, which derives from ancient knowledge, customs, and informal institutions that have reinforced local communities' sense of themselves.

Due to the interference of new technology and growing rivalry from different countries, the handicraft sector faces many issues. Due to their poor socioeconomic conditions and inability to compete with machine-made items, they are compelled to leave their conventional specialised employment and look for alternate sources of income. The economic standing of the artists is being impacted by the arrival of items of modern technology, such as ceramics, plastics, and metallic kitchenware, which are progressively replacing the utility of indigenous handmade products in both rural and urban areas. The working circumstances for craftspeople are frequently uncertain. A typical aspect of an artisan's working life is spells of unemployment in between engagements. Their contractual commitments are typically project-based.

Craftspeople have less negotiating power and are compelled to purchase inferior materials at a greater cost because of the low volume requirements. The government also doesn't give this sector its due attention. When it comes to implementation and evaluation, policies and programmes targeting at artisans receive little attention. In India, both the central and state governments as well as numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have worked to conserve a variety of national crafts.

The global village has become a reality as a result of India's opening up to international businesses during the period of economic reform and market liberalisation. The entire world is now connected. Due to the significant flood of manufactured goods, globalisation has shrunk the domestic market for handcrafted products.

A wonderful opportunity to influence the success of persons working in India's non-farm rural economy is to invest in the crafts sector today. Additionally, crafts are a potent catalyst for improving the social results of whole families working in the sector and empowering women and underprivileged populations.