How to help Indian artisans
Like me, I’m sure you were saddened by the devasting catastrophe that occurred in India in early 2021 with the second wave of the pandemic. Sadly, now several months on, artisans are still suffering from reduced markets and few local tourists and no foreign visitors. As many know I’ve had a long engagement with artisans in India through my own practice, teaching Cultural Textiles courses and most recently Cultural Textiles tours to Gujarat and the Northeast. I’m longing for another visit but since returning in February 2020, my plans for a future trip have shifted from late 2020 to 2021 then 2022 and now most likely late 2022 or early 2023.
Last year, in place of organising a tour, I contacted everyone that had joined me on a tour in either Gujarat or the Northeast and together we raised over $A5000 for artisans. Everyone was very generous in supporting groups in Maheshwar, Gujarat and Assam. Since then, a colleague has made and sold masks to raise funds for the Antaran ‘Gift of Loom’ program in Assam – sending enough for five new looms for weavers in the local Kamrup area. Together we have supported 8 new looms for weavers in this area – a great program that can be supported at https://www.antaranartisanconnect.in/footer/giftofloom
More recently, the Cultural Textiles Gujarat December 2019 group has donated funds for our wonderful guide in Gujarat, Nirav with his efforts to support his family, provide food relief deliveries to the needy and oxygen supplies for those with the virus following the sad death of his mother due to no oxygen being available.
I am now writing to others who may be are interested in donating to artisans suffering due to the pandemic. For over a year, they have lost income due to difficulties in getting supplies, accessing markets and no local or foreign tourists who visit their workshops and local shops; now so many are sadly infected by the virus, needing food, vaccines and oxygen.
If you are interested in supporting artisans directly, I recommend these organisations who I know and can be trusted to support artisans families, communities and those in need. There are many other organisations but I can vouch for these.
Dastkar – artisans support fund.
Delhi Craft Council – Covid-19 ‘Artisans’ help fund
200 Million Artisans is calling for funds to supply oxygen and medical where needed.
Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with their production unit and Hansiba shop and the Hansiba Museum in Ranhanpur in northern Gujarat. SEWA’s appeal for funds is a link from one of their news items on their home page – a link to a pdf with details, banking details etc.
Alternatively, if you would like to send funds to me, I’m happy to forward them to colleagues in Ahmedabad and Bhuj in Gujarat directly to support local artisans. Please email me at email@example.com
I hope that you can join me in supporting artisans and colleagues in India.