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A living tradition

After six years, Dastkar comes to the city with colourful offers


DASTKAR, THE Society for Crafts and Craftspeople, is committed to helping the craftsperson, the craft product and the consumer.

Set up in 1981 by six women, the organisation deals with the problems of traditional artisans in contemporary India. Dastkar's goals are to make crafts groups self-reliant, in control of their own lives and independent of organisations.

Dastkar is now working in 12 States with 75 crafts groups, half of whom receive the whole gamut of Dastkar services and the rest benefit from marketing activities. The society intervenes to provide ideas and stimuli for creativity and innovation in the craftsmen themselves, to help develop a range of products that incorporate different traditional skill levels and to harmoniously integrate the colours and motifs of the region in products with a contemporary appeal.

SEWA Lucknow, Ranthambore Artisans' Project and SEWA Banaskantha are all symbols of successful empowerment. Such success stories could be replicated by other millions of artisans who exist in the hope of fulfilling their dreams. Dastkar exists to serve them.

The Dastkari Bazaar comes to Hyderabad after six years combining the colours, skills and motifs of 52 of its traditional craft groups all adapted to suit contemporary lifestyles and tastes. The bazaar will be held at the Institution of Engineers, Visvesvaraya Bhavan, Khairatabad from March 11 to 15.

There are tussar weaves and godna paintings from Bihar, lambani tribal embroidered and kasuti soft furnishings and gift items, vegetable dyed bags from Karnataka and bright bandini pomchas with a shimmer of gold and silver from Rajasthan. Also dhokra castings, vegetable dyed, mirror-worked garments, leather accessories, beaded and tribal jewellery and wooden toys and pottery find a place.

Here's your chance to help the artisan help himself.

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