Artisans in Karnataka in dire straits as market shrinks for handicraft
Handicraft artisans throughout Karnataka are in dire straits having been rendered jobless by the virulence of the second wave of COVID-19 which has devastated the sector.
Not solely have main workshops and studios that engaged skilled craftsmen shut down resulting from lack of orders, however there aren’t any takers to clear even the present inventory of handicraft articles.
No assist from govt.
The affiliation representing the artisan group has appealed to the federal government to present them monetary help to assist tide over the disaster. But to date their requests have been greeted with a deafening silence.
“The artisan community at Karakushalanagar in Mysuru has over 1000 families specialising in different art forms but mainly wooden inlay works. But they have reached a point where securing even two square meals a day is difficult and nobody is rendering them any assistance as orders have dried up and there is no work,” mentioned S. Ramu, President, Karnataka State Handicrafts Manufacturers Association. At least 15% to twenty% have taken to promoting greens or entered the development sector to work as each day wagers, he added.
This challenge was not addressed when a package deal was introduced for completely different sectors in 2020 and the identical repeated in 2021. “We met Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and other ministers but no body has responded so far,” he added.
N. Kumar of the Karnataka Artisans Welfare Association mentioned there weren’t lower than 25,000 registered artisans throughout the State and this interprets to round 1.5 lakh individuals who have been depending on their earnings for livelihood. “We have artisan community and townships in Channapatana, Bidar, Sagar, Kumta etc and the situation is dire in all these places,” Mr. Kumar added.
Even if the State lifts the lockdown there is no such thing as a glimmer of hope in the quick future as handicrafts and furnishings shall be perceived to be a luxurious in occasions of economic crunch wrought by uncertainty resulting from job loss. “The last finished handicraft article I sold was more than four months ago when the situation had slightly eased and there were signs of recovery. But even before the work could stabilize the second wave swept away the marginal gains that the sector had notched,” mentioned Mr. Ramu.
While the financial situation of these promoting the wares to emporiums or exporting is dire, there are a whole bunch of artisans who have been engaged in promoting inlay works, mementoes, carvings and so on to vacationers in completely different elements of the State. Mysuru which acquired round 3.5 million vacationers per 12 months in the pre-pandemic occasions, supported the artisan group by fuelling demand for handicrafts. But with tourism having come to a standstill the artisans are watching an unsure future.