Rural India Crafts Initiatives

Dina Mehta writes about some of the work already underway:

Indext-C, a Gujarat Government endeavour has been created to provide information and guidance in organising the Cottage & Rural Industries sector as a catalyst for a better quality of life for artisans and small entrepreneurs.

The COTTAGE INDUSTRY-GLOBAL MARKET (CIGM) project works with women’s craft cooperatives in the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, India to support capacity building and local development. K2Crafts is the online marketplace for the CIGM project, established to market the cooperatives; hand-made, world-quality shawls. There’s a whole lot of interesting master’s theses covering research by CCT students on different aspects of the project: strategies for sustainable development, generating social capital, women’s empowerment, and Internet branding for local industries.

PEOPLink, a non-profit organization has been guiding women communities in countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Haiti and Kenya, involved with handicrafts to place their products online, and building a global network of Trading Partners (TPs). The TPs have digital cameras that allow easy uploading of images, which are in turn used as promos to retail and wholesale buyers in the industrialized countries.

The Asian Center for Entrepreneurial Initiatives (AsCent) has made an attempt to introduce CAD / CAM technologies to artisans in the Belgaum district of Karnataka, alongside online advertising and sales.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.