Vol. 67 No. 4, June-September 2016, pp. 32-41
While the craft and handloom development sector is an important player within the Indian economy, it has for the longest time not been given the attention and assistance it deserves. Surveying the work of policy makers and NGOs within this field, this article looks into the problems plaguing the industry and the solutions that may be sought within it. There is a focus on the social and aesthetic concerns that need to govern revivalist efforts in craft. The critical issues include—tradition vs innovation; the demand for better artisanal training and marketing; the rights of craftspeople vs the tastes of customers; pure design vs functionality. The work of Sewa in Lucknow and Banaskantha and Dastkar in Ranthambhore and Tezpur throw light on the way in which craft may be transformed into a platform for sustainable employment and income generation that empowers local communities and encourages national pride and growth.