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NGO strives to give handicraft artisans their due
Jan '09
More than 120 artisans will display their wares at a crafts festival to be held in Bangalore from January 2, 2009. Among the products on exhibit will be shawls and sarongs produced by the rural tribal artisans of Manipur.

Other products expected to be displayed are rugs and carpets from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, fabric paintings and many other handicraft items from across India. A NGO has taken the initiative to bring all the craftsmen together under the umbrella of the fair.

But, other than displaying and promoting their wares to the local populace, the other endeavor of the NGO is to free these skilled but poor artisans from the clutches of the middle men involved in the handicraft trade.

These skilled craftsmen toll through the year and produce a treasure trove of arts and crafts. But when it comes to selling the products at a fair price and consumerate with the efforts put in to the same, they do not get it.

They are paid very low prices for the beautiful handicraft products that they create by the middle men who corner away the cream of profits by selling it to the retailers or whole sellers involved in the handicrafts business.

The people involved in the manufacturing of handicrafts hail from rural backgrounds and are mainly farmers who own very small pieces of land. The whole family of the farmer is involved in the production of handicrafts.

In times of drought and famine, handicrafts become a tool of survival for these farmers cum craftsmen. It is also one of the largest employment generators after agriculture in India. So to provide the profits that they deserve, the NGO has embarked on a campaign to slowly but surely eliminate middle men from the trade.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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