Rural artisans, also known as traditional craftspeople, hold a paramount position in maintaining cultural heritage and perpetuating ancient techniques and designs from one era to the next. Regrettably, the advent of modern technology and globalization has caused a rapid decrease in the number of rural artisans. This depletion not only signifies the termination of a substantial source of income for many communities but also the termination of a rich cultural patrimony that has been transmitted for centuries.
One of the major factors contributing to the erosion of rural artisans is the lack of recognition and aid from the government and industry. In several nations, traditional arts and crafts are not considered valuable and are frequently relegated to a low priority in terms of funding and resources. This makes it challenging for rural artisans to earn a livelihood, forcing many to abandon their trade to pursue more lucrative occupations.
Furthermore, globalization and the rise of mass-produced goods have made it challenging for rural artisans to compete in the marketplace. Consumers can now access cheap and readily available products from all over the world, leaving little room for locally made, traditional items. This has reduced demand for rural artisanal products, making it even more challenging for craftspeople to earn a living.
It is not only about the economic ramifications, but also about the cultural and historical significance of these artisans. Traditional arts and crafts play a crucial role in preserving cultural heritage and connecting people to their roots. Each rural artisan possesses a unique story to tell, and their craft is a manifestation of their cultural identity and heritage. When rural artisans disappear, a portion of cultural history is lost forever.
Uthhan- Empowering Artisans started in 2012 is an initiative where profit from artifact sales goes directly to artisan families without any middlemen. Uthhan is displaying its handicraft items on the online shopping site called uthhanecom.gergstore.com ( For Indian Customers) and uthhanglobal.gergstore.com( For Global Customers). The project is currently feeding 50k plus artisans in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Meghalaya through craft sales.
Uthhan Charitable Trust is providing raw materials, tools, smartphones, laptops, medical consumables, and sales to economically downtrodden artisans and clusters through its campaign called " Karigar Apnao Sanskriti Bachao Abhiyaan( KASBA ) started in 2020. KASBA has supported more than 10K plus families from the date of inception.
However, further action must be taken to ensure the survival of rural artisans and the cultural heritage they represent. Consumers can play a role by opting to purchase traditional, locally-made products instead of mass-produced goods. This not only helps support rural artisans but also helps to preserve cultural heritage for future generations.
In conclusion, the erosion of rural artisans is a substantial loss to both communities and the world as a whole. It is imperative to support and preserve these traditional arts and crafts and the cultural heritage they represent. By doing so, we can help ensure that the rich cultural heritage of rural artisans will be transmitted for generations to come.
- Team Uthhan
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