Indian craftsmanship has always been an exposition of Indian skill set and a struggle for national, cultural and religious identity. Indian craftsmen throughout their past and present have expounded their emotional and religious sentiments as well as their political commitments through their products. Our complex history of trade is replete with stories of artisans with unmatched talents. Craft production in India as a manifestation of heritage and tradition has tended to serve the interest of nation-state building, or nationalism in general. Indian craftsmen have not only saved our culture from the prospect of extinction due to colonial policies and an onslaught of Western modernism – which stood in stark contrast from India’s traditional values – hence, the Indian artisan must be upheld as a representative of the Indian civilization as a whole. The Indian artisan is a carrier of an authentic image of India which symbolizes not only a cultural buffet but also a sort of organic solidarity.
A point of interest is the extreme simplicity of the craftsman’s tools and methods. The painter’s brushes, for example, are made of the awns of a simile of tools; various grasses, of squirrels’ hair, of roots, or fiber, and he is always able to replace them or modify them at need. The artisan makes his tools himself to suit the work in hand, and he does not hesitate to make a new tool out of an old one for a special purpose. The value of this simplicity lies in the fact that the craftsman relies upon himself rather than upon his tools, and at the same time has completely mastered them, adapting them exactly to the requirements of the moment.
The historically imbibed plural aesthetics of Indian handicrafts are priceless economic and cultural assets of our country. The production of handicrafts is the second largest source of income among rural populations. While the question of employment viability hovers over skilled Indian artisans struggling to meet ends today, there is also a responsibility to ensure that age-old handicrafts sustain into future generations too. We need public-private engagement in this segment more than any other, so that the original ‘Make in India’ products can be revived. India may be ‘incredible’ but the people who toil hard to give the country a place on the world map are however not shining. Most of national award winning craftsmen whose exquisite crafts have helped India earn a place high amongst those in the world are unfortunately living without even the basic amenities. These craftsmen are fighting hard for their livelihood, health, education and safety of their family members.
India is one of the most sought after destinations for handicraft due to variation in culture and people who produce varied kinds of handicraft. The Indian handicrafts industry is fragmented, with more than 7 million regional artisans and more than 67,000 exporters/export houses promoting regional art and craftsmanship in the domestic and global markets, mostly women and people from weaker sections of the society get a job in this industry.
MeherKriti believes in playing a part in the changing game. E-Commerce has waived off things such as high rentals, costs of fit outs, lock-in periods and added logistics to cost. With MeherKriti, consumers will now be able to purchase many, popular ethnic products & handicrafts from the comfort of their homes. With us going online, customers who do not have access to physical stores can purchase the products with just a tap of their finger.