India and the art of handicrafts have a long history. With its rich culture, multi- religions thoughts and diverse societal background, India has an extremely rich treasure of ethnic handicrafts practices and handlooms.
But, in spite of this rich inheritance, India, which once stood as the strong base for the artisans is now facing a tough competition from the main stream industry.
Pearl Academy of Fashion, one of the premiere institutes of fashion organized a Round Table Conference, which witnessed the august assembly of many notable personalities from various fields like retail, fair Trade, NGOs and media & design enterprises who participated and contributed their wealth of knowledge to the forum.
Prof. Jackie Guille, who has been closely associated with the development of design education and enterprise within Sub-Saharan Africa, commenced the discussion by highlighting the perception of crafts industry, the clichéd rural and primitive taboo attached to it.
Further on, the session was presided over by Mr Kshitij Padeya, MD, Eco Tasar Silk Pvt Ltd. who came with more “modern” approach of crafts business and talked about the pragmatic ways to bring the depleting art into the mainstream industry.
Ms Laila Tyabji, Chairman, Dastakar, too gave rich insights to the fatal competition faced by the craftsmen of India and the dying art and she pushed the idea that artisans should learn to market their products so as to make their presence in the new market. She even talked about venturing into the public-private partnership to boost the industry.
Other eminent panelists included, Ms Gillian Rowe, Aditi Shah Aman, Mala Pradeep Sinha, Ms Villoo Mirza, Mr Vikram Joshi, Mr Jatin Bhatt, Ms Meera Goradia, Ms Gurpreet Sindhu and Ms Kusum Tiwari.
source: Business Standard July 13, 2011, 10:14 IST