JHABUA: The cloth dolls manufactured by tribals in the Jhabua district of Indore division will soon get a GI tag. These unique dolls of Madhya Pradesh are heritage of Bhil and Bhilala tribals which has been preserved by the tribal people of Jhabua for decades. With their efforts, these dolls have received recognition not only in the state but across the country.
Locally known as the ‘Adivasi Gudiya Hastashilp’, the art of doll making contributes to rural livelihood.
An interesting case in point is how varying forms of art, fabric prints and designs have managed to cross and transcend boundaries influencing indigenous cultures and occupations. This is evident from the eclectic amalgamation of tasteful Gujarati ethnic styles of jewellery/beads and the Rajasthani ‘Kathputli’ (puppet) patterns that adorn these pretty dolls.
A craftsmen Subhash Gidwani, a resident of Jhabua has been manufacturing the dolls for the last 40 years, said that unlike before the business has picked up with the recent promotion and publicising.
Gidwani said that GI tag will help the unique dolls of Jhabua get wider recognition and contribute to Atmanirbhar Madhya Pradesh. He said that manufacturers of other handicrafts too will feel encouraged now.
Gidwani said four members of my family are involved in this art and he is about to hire ten more people. He has also been awarded in 1989-90 by Madhya Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Bhopal for his work.
The government is also promoting these dolls of Jhabua and they sell briskly across the country including the fairs held at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Hyderabad, Rohtak, Bangalore, Calcutta, Raipur, Chandigarh, Haryana, Bhopal.
Gidwani said that the doll has been recognised by the Ministry of Textiles, District Trade and Industries Center, Madhya Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation Bhopal and Adivasi Lok Kala Parishad.