Hello Fellow Gallopers,
Got an opportunity to visit a Handicrafts Exhibition recently and the variety of goods and the myriad colours on display motivated me to share the same with all of you and hence decided to dedicate an entry to the Handicrafts Industry in India.
Let’s start with the definition of Handicraft – When can an item be called a Handicrafts item? According to UNESCO, Handicrafts can be defined as “products that are produced either completely by hand or with the help of tools and where mechanical tools are used, the direct manual contribution of the artisan must remain the most substantial component of the finished product”. The Government of India adds that in addition to being made by hand, Handicrafts should have artistic value and they may or may not have functional utility. All the items showcased in this entry fall within this category and they span the length and breadth of India.
Handicrafts are unique expressions and represent a culture, tradition and heritage of a country. India is a country rich in culture, history and traditions and is one of the major producers and suppliers of Handicraft products in the world.
The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labour intensive, cottage based and decentralized. The industry is spread all over the country mainly in rural areas. Most of the manufacturing units are located in rural and small towns. The Handicraft industry is a major source of income for rural communities employing over six million artisans including a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of society. The Handicraft sector is a highly creative one and produces a large variety of products that have a very strong market both in India and abroad. As the capital investment required to start a handicraft business is small, businesses are run on a small scale.
A few key facts of the Indian Handicrafts Industry:
- The industry has been showing a consistent growth of 20% per year.
- It is one of the major segments of the decentralised sector in India
- The industry provides huge employment opportunities to artisans that include women and people belonging to backward and weaker societies.
- India contributes 1.2% of the world demand for handicraft products.
- The promotion of Handicraft products in the National market is poor
Handicraft products come in various forms and can be categorised as: Metal ware, Wood ware, Hand printed textiles, Embroidered and crocheted goods, Shawls, Carpets, Bamboo products, Zari goods, Imitation jewellery, Paintings, Earthenware, Jute products, Marble Sculpture, Bronze Sculpture, Leather Products and other miscellaneous handicrafts.
I sincerely hope that this entry and the accompanying photographs give you a snapshot of the colours and variety of products that go to make up the offerings of the Indian Handicraft industry.
To see all the images*, please click the link below:
Till next time, take care and gallop free.
* – images taken with the Canon 50D
Ride with the Black Stallion: www.blackstallionphotography.co.uk