Hamari Virasat: 'Aim To Turn Spotlight On Incredible Handicrafts Industry,' Says Shibani Dasgupta Jain

Hamari Virasat: 'Aim To Turn Spotlight On Incredible Handicrafts Industry,' Says Shibani Dasgupta Jain

"It is the second largest rural income generator, which is now adversely impacted by its powerloom counterpart."

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 10:33 AM IST
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To give a much-needed boost to handlooms and the handicrafts sector at large, 'Hamari Virasat' aims to encourage Indian artisans by public displays of their unique talent and eye-catching aesthetics of the textile industry. After exhibitions in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the initiative recently travelled to the national capital. Swarna Srikanth spoke to Shibani Dasgupta Jain, founder of Hand for Handmade Foundation, which is associated with the cause. Excerpts:

Your remark on the prevailing condition of the handloom industry.

It is the second largest rural income generator, which is now adversely impacted by its powerloom counterpart. All the handloom traditional motifs and designs created by artisans and passed on to generations have been replicated and sold at much lesser costs by the powerloom sector. It is time to protect and support the handloom weavers.

What is the idea behind 'Hamari Virasat'?

The aim is to turn the spotlight on the incredible artisan industry in India. The general public, especially people in urban cities, have lost their connection with our age-old crafts industry. Through such grassroot-level exhibitions, we can showcase the spectacular workmanship of our artisans.

Tell us something about your interaction and connect with artisans.

I am humbled by their love for the country and their work. They participated (in the initiative) with a sense of excitement and in the spirit of giving. The artisans at Hand for Handmade have generously contributed beautiful artwork pieces for our recent exhibition.

Do you think handloom products are expensive meant for elite pick or is the scenario changing?

Such handicrafts are created through painstaking handwork. Every product brings a person's human touch, expertise, and love for the craft. This makes each work a tad expensive, but not necessarily elite. It's a matter of choice as many people can choose to pay little more to get a product of love and one that helps generate income in rural India. It's a big boost towards building a sustainable lifestyle.

Do you believe we can head to a party draping a handwoven saree?

Why not! There are many attractive ways to drape a saree. An ethnic handwoven saree is a great choice when accompanied by fabulous accessories like belts, ornaments and even shoes.

How do you spread inspiration about handmade art and its creative richness?

Handicrafts have been mainly purchased by people who are aware of the industry as well as the beauty of such products. It is important to bring this knowledge into schools and colleges, make the general public connect with the arts and crafts, have them try their hand at creating such work and observe craft demonstrations.

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