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Dastkar presents The Basant Haat / 20th & 21st February 2010

by: Jainiti Singh on February 16, 2010, 10:01 am in City Updates
Dastkar presents The Basant Haat / 20th & 21st February 2010

Dastkar presents "The Basant Haat" Crafts from Across India at Epicentre, Sec-44, Gurgaon - 12pm-7pm on 20th & 21st February 2010

Time : 12:00 noon - 7:00 pm

Entry : Free

Place : Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44, Opp. Power Grid Residential Complex, Gurgaon

Event Details : Dastkar presents The Basant Haat - Crafts from Across India.
Sabai Grass, Bodo Weaves, Ethnic Block Prints, Walnut Wood Carving, Black Stone Pottery, Applique Work, Cane and Bamboo Furniture, Organic Food, Palmleaf and Patachitra, Sanjhi Paper Cut.

A society for crafts and craftspeople Dastkar is a registered society that aims at improving the economic status of craftspeople, thereby promoting the survival of traditional crafts. It was founded in 1981 by six women, who had worked in the craft and development sector including Laila Tyabji, who is the current Chairperson. 

Dastkar strongly believes in  “craft” as a social, cultural and economic force that despite being marginalized due to urbanisation and industrialization, has enormous strength and potential and has a vital role to play within the economic mainstream of the country. The crux of its programme is to help craftspeople, especially women, to use their own traditional craft skills as a means of employment, income generation and economic self-sufficiency. Dastkar guides the process of developing a craft – from identifying the skill and creating awareness of its potential in both craftsperson and consumer, developing, designing, costing and then marketing the product, and finally suggesting the proper usages and investment of the income generated. The objective is to make the craftspeople self-reliant, independent of both the commercial middleman and organisations like Dastkar to market and sell contemporary products directly, and not to subsidise craft.  Dastkar ensures that the end product is competitive – not just in its worthiness of purpose or the neediness of its produce, but in cost utility and aesthetic – a consumer does not buy out of compassion!

The Dastkar cooperative shop, and the Dastkar exhibitions and Dastkari bazaars, where artisans sell their products directly to the customers, expose craftspeople to the market and given them a firsthand knowledge of customer tastes and trends. Recently, Dastkar acquired an export license, thus enabling it to provide an alternative as well as an international market for the craftspeople.

As groups become self-sufficient, Dastkar directs its support to new groups and assists them in their growth. Presently, Dastkar is working in most of the states of India with over 100 groups of which at least 75% receive the full gamut of Dastkar services, and the rest benefit from its marketing activities. Crafts skills range from textile based craft producer groups to terracotta. The product ranges developed include garments and accessories, home furnishings, toys, stationery and objets d’art.

Apart from the support services and craft development consultancies, Dastkar provides to its own family of craft producer groups, it has increasingly been asked to provide evaluation and consultancy services to other government, non-government and international agencies. It has grown into a professional full-time development and alternative marketing organisation that works with groups all over the country. Its Delhi office of 17 travels all over India, and it has sister organisations in Andhra and Rajasthan.

Crafts and craftspeople have a vital role to play in contemporary India – not just as part of its cultural and aesthetic past, but as part of its economic future. Dastkar is committed to help prepare the craftsperson, the craft product and the consumer, for the future. 

Elaben Bhatt, Founder of the SEWA, Self-Employed Women’s Association said “I see Dastkar as both an organisation and a movement. The organisation started the movement and gave many NGOs and craftspeople the confidence to make good crafts products and market them directly. It showed us the way and gave us direction.  Today, there is consequently an all India movement of craft as a means to sustainable employment.  It is not necessary for Dastkar to grow as large as the movement or to run the movement. At the same time without the organisation there would be no movement, and if there was no movement there would be little point in the organisation.” This seems to sum up everything Dastkar feels about its growth and future development.  

 

DASTKAR,
45-B, Shahpur Jat,
New Delhi – 110049
Tel: +91-11-2649 5920/21, +91-11-649 4633, +91-11-649 1549
Email:
dastkar@vsnl.net  


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