(Written by Stuti Bafna)
Dastkar, a society for craft and craftspeople, organised bazaars and exhibitions in Harshal garden in Kothrud, where people from different states showcased their products, skill and quirky, handmade and handwoven designs.
The exhibition ended on Sunday.
“Dastkar works to provide support services to craftspeople, to bridge the gap between rural craftsperson and urban craftsperson,” said Aamir Khan, the project coordinator. “We believe that despite the strains of urbanisation and industrialisation, craft remains viable as a means of earning and employment,” he added.
Dastkar has gained more than three decades of experience in working with craftspeople across India and has organised over 200 bazaars and exhibitions.
“Dastkar gives me the platform to promote my handmade Rajasthani paintings made with natural stone colour and brushwork in all the metro cities of India. It helps promote the culture of every state and helps in finding new customers across the country,” said Mukul Joshi, who is from Rajasthan.
Some of the handmade items available at the exhibition are weaves, embroideries, block prints, wood, metal, terracotta, footwear, accessories, games and toys.
Satwama Devi (62) from Jharkhand, who manufactures 250 handmade cosmetic items, giving employment opportunities to 50 women from rural areas, says, “The Dastkar name gives the guarantee to the consumer that the product is reliable, and it ensures that money flows from urban areas to rural areas.”
The social impact of Dastkar’s work has extended from improving the livelihood of craftspeople and their families, benefiting more than 50,000 individuals from over 500 producer groups across 25 states.
“These bazaars and exhibitions are wonderful, as they give us the opportunity to buy specialities from across the country at a single place. These exhibitions are also useful in informing us about different types of arts of different states,” said Renu Krishna, a resident of Pune.
The 10-day bazaar provided visitors with a regular space for sourcing craft, textile, natural and lifestyle products.
“I came from Mumbai to Pune especially to visit this bazaar and I am very fond of handmade items. I purchased almost all the items from every state and also because it helps people in rural areas,” said Rashmi Malik, a resident of Mumbai.
“This season, the profits were not the same due to the heavy rain, which brought fewer people to the bazaar,” said Anu Bhargva, who sells flowers made from sola wood from West Bengal.