New Delhi, September, 2020.
Indian artisans do not want charity. They are looking for work and, if given an opportunity they will do a very good job mention Smt. Vasundhara Raje Scindia, National Vice President, BJP & Former Chief Minister of Rajasthan during a webinar organised by FLO, the Women’s Wing of FICCI
Speaking on the occasion she further added, “The initiative by FLO & Creative dignity will give the local artisans a platform to collaborate with designers in order to learn essential skills, quality control, develop their crafts and directly sell in the market. There is a lot of talent in India and we need to tap that to create employment opportunities along with conservation of our crafts and arts heritage”.
The initiative by FLO & Creative Dignity aims to address this by empowering artisans from states across West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Puducherry, Kerala and Bihar. The initiative will help train over 1000 artisans across these states to enable them to reach out to customers digitally, giving them access to new markets and livelihood opportunities. Enabling craft enthusiasts to purchase from artisans directly, this initiative brings together artisans, many of whom had no previous access to ecommerce to find a place with premier artisan ecommerce sites – GoCoop, Freedom Tree, Jaypore, Okhai, Itokri, Zwende and Tata CLiQ.
FLO President, Jahnabi Phookan said “This is in sync with my vision this year, to work towards sustainable livelihoods for women’s economic empowerment. The handloom sector as the country’s second-largest employer of women, after agriculture, has been severely impacted in the Covid crisis. The digital platform offered by Creative Dignity will help FLO contribute effectively to work towards restoring lives and livelihoods for our distressed artisans across the country”.
Meera Goradia, Member of Creative Dignity’s Governing Council has a strong belief – ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. She explained “We have more than 250 partners and volunteers across the Craft ecosystem working towards a common cause. The ‘Artisan Direct’ initiative has collaborated with premier design schools to develop catalogues of unsold inventory and onboard the artisans onto the ecommerce sites. The ecommerce partners, in turn offered to reduce their margins to boost stock sales as support to artisans. In addition to the above, Creative Dignity volunteers calibrated pricing, logistics and developed promotional artworks and media planning.”
Covid19 left millions of artisans stranded with no access to raw material, markets and basic sustenance. This prompted diverse organizations and professionals from the creative sectors to come together as a movement to provide relief and opportunities for respectful aid. In the long term, FLO & Creative Dignity aim to use the COVID19 as an opportunity to reimagine and rejuvenate the artisanal sector. A preliminary diagnostic survey showed that there is more than 140 crores worth stock lying with artisans, and its liquidation can help revive the sector to get back on their feet. The movement has already been working for the past four months – there are 28 state hubs working on the ground helping craftsmen catalogue their unsold stock and connecting them to markets.
Alka Batra, Governing Body Member, FLO was the Day Chair for the event.