Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Handicraft: The Ancient Tradition of Creating Things with Your Hands



Anyone who’s spent significant time creating with their hands – whether it be painting, carpentry, knitting, carving, building – can appreciate the distinctive satisfaction it evokes. (I’m using the term broadly.) Handicraft, as wide a spectrum as it can encompass, isn’t about routine chores or fix-its. There’s a difference between grudgingly doing your own home repairs to save money and savoring the experience of meticulously renovating your own home. It’s about the love of the craft on some level.

Indian Handicrafts Industry

India is one of the important suppliers of handicrafts to the world market.  The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labour intensive cottage based industry and decentralized, being spread all over the country in rural and urban areas.  Numerous artisans are engaged in crafts work on part-time basis.  The industry provides employment to over six million artisans (including those in carpet trade), which include a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

In addition to the high potential for employment, the sector is economically important from the point of low capital investment, high ratio of value addition, and high potential for export and foreign exchange earnings for the country.  The export earnings from Indian handicrafts industry for the period 1998-99 amounted to US$ 1.2 billion.

Although exports of handicrafts appear to be sizeable, India’s share in world imports is miniscule.  It is a sector that is still not completely explored from the point of view of hidden potential areas.  India, a country with 26 states and 18 languages and more than 1500 dialects offers an enormous range of handicrafts from each of the states.  Major centres in Uttar Pradesh are Moradabad also known as the "Peetalnagari" (City of Brass), Saharanpur for its wooden articles, Ferozabad for Glass. The North Western state of Rajasthan has to offer the famous Jaipuri quilts, Bagru and Sanganer printed textiles and wooden and wrought iron furniture from Jodhpur.  The coastal state of Gujarat comes with embroidered articles from Kutch. Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh is famous for its Lace and Lace goods. But this is only a small part of the total product range. India offers much more. 

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