India today has about 60000 individuals working on 1000 different types of craft. Every state, district and province of the country has an art form or craft that is unique to it and often takes large amount of time, effort and details into its creation. At one point, India was known for its handicraft and handloom with interest in the art not just restricted to visitors of the country but also its citizens.
Sadly, the interest started to wane after globalisation and the advent of fast fashion with multi-national brands taking over our closet spaces as well as home décor. Handloom then was reduced to something that only existed in emporiums. To get the spell of interest in handloom and handicrafts going, a group of 6 young women, studying at Indraprastha College for Women have collaborated with different designers and brands to promote the tales, lives and challenges of Karigars throughout the country and educate the masses about various different art forms in the world that are now dying.
Using new media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Youtube, Meet the Karigars is an initiative to introduce dying crafts to the masses. The team is running a campaign called #26DaysOfTextileandCraft where they post about a craft or textile or art form a day starting with a letter from the Alphabet in order to showcase the diversity and reach of different types of crafts available in the country today.
“We wanted to do something that ensured that people actually realise how beautiful Indian craft and textile is. Also, more importantly, our campaign is aimed at showing people that handloom and handicraft is not just for the old people or the fancy ones. Handloom and Handicrafts can be utilised in every corner of our lives and that is something we wish to tell everyone” says a member of the group.
To know more, you can have a look at the campaign on their Instagram or Facebook pages. It is heartening to see that finally, people of our own generation are taking a stand to ensure that craft does not die.