Essay Example on Handcrafted Livelihood challenges faced by Handicraft Artisans

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Handcrafted Livelihood challenges faced by Handicraft Artisans in India Abstract Indian Handicrafts are unique expressions and represent a culture tradition and heritage of a country The Indian Handicraft Industry is one of the important productive sector Various attempts have been made to define this broad and diversified industry India s industrialization and participation in the modern world economy is decades old Nevertheless millions of Indians still depend on indigenous modes of production traditional skills and techniques to make a living based on handmade products These craftspeople or artisans are the backbone of the rural economy with an estimated 7 million artisans engaged in craft production to earn a livelihood The Indian handicrafts sector provides livelihoods to millions of people around the country especially women However linking small scale rural producers to urban and global markets has been a challenge Despite some instances of well known design houses using handmade products and successful crafts based businesses such as FabIndia and Anokhi the majority of craft production remains unorganized and informal with its full market potential untapped especially by the artisan who more often than not struggles for sustenance Propelled by loss of markets declining skills and difficulty catering to new markets a large number of artisans have moved to urban centers in search of low unskilled employment in industry

With the recent boom the startup culture has been the center of the economy for quite a while now Excellent Indian rural artisans working with beautifully hand crafted products have been ignored to a great extent recently In India where the rural population sums up to nearly 70 of the total this neglect is a major issue for concern According to the UN over the past 30 years the number of Indian artisans has decreased by 30 indicating the need to re invest in artisans to safeguard history culture and an important source of livelihood Keywords Handicrafts Artisans Livelihood Problems challenges SWOT Analysis Industry Key Facts Current Situation Tradition Art Culture 1 Introduction Craft practices are an integral part of any cultural setting They provide an identity to the people belonging to a particular culture India has a vast variety of cultural settings resulting in diverse craft practices At the beginning craft items were produced by different cultural groups to serve specific purposes Later with time and changes in society function of these products changed and at times they were used as items of household decoration that is moving from function to aesthetic

And now is the time when craft is considered as ornamentation with high price for a particular class of the society Craft practices in most of the developed economies are almost stopped Fortunately in India craft practices are still alive However the craft sector is facing a lot of challenges with new technologies and changing lifestyles Many steps are taken by the Government of India to support the craft sector but a lot is yet to be done at different levels of society 2 Handicrafts An overview India is a country of rich culture history and traditions India is one of the major producer and supplier of Handicrafts products in the world India has been major producer and supplier of handicrafts products since very long time Before the industrial development this art and industry was a potential economic advantage for the country During recent years the importance of handicrafts has been surged due to their cultural and financial values In countries such as India and China handicrafts are as high as the mechanized products in quality and volume and are a major source of their foreign earnings These countries are focusing on the development of handicraft industry in order to strengthen the economy The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labor intensive cottage based and decentralized industry The industry is spread all over the country mainly in rural and urban areas

Most of the manufacturing units are located in rural and small towns and there is huge market potential in all Indian cities and abroad Handicraft industry is a major source of income for rural communities employing over six million artisans including a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society The Handicraft sector is highly creative sector and produces large variety of crafts products This industry is localized segment of the domestic and international market In India the production of craft products are done on both large and small scale Because of low capital investment people can start their business on small scale Through this flexibility the demand and supply can be managed Though Indian Handicraft industry is considered a cottage industry but it has evolved as one of the major revenue generator over the years There has been consistent growth of 15 over few years and the industry has evolved as one of the major contributor for export and foreign revenue generation There is huge demand for the Indian Handicraft products in both national and international market To match the demand and supply with quality there is need to have greater technological support and innovativeness with the uniqueness in industry 3 The Importance of Handicrafts The Cultural Importance Handicrafts play very important role in representing the culture and traditions of any country or region Handicrafts are a substantial medium to preserve of rich traditional art heritage and culture traditional skills and talents which are associated with people's lifestyle and history The Economic Importance Handicrafts are hugely important in terms of economic development They provide ample opportunities for employment even with low capital investments and become a prominent medium for foreign earnings

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