Monday, April 11, 2011

Great organizations

We came across two very great organizations during our trip, Sunder Rang and Khamir.
Both a pleasure to meet and learn more about.

Sunder Rang
Based half hour from Pipar City Block printers, we stopped on our way at this base camp of Art and Culture on our way to Ahmedabad. We had met the owner of The Chandelao Garh, at Yasin Bhai's block printing factory. As he heard us speak of our agenda, he told us of this small organization that is located by his heritage hotel and that if we are interested, we should drop by. And so, we did.

We were quite happy to come across such a small community of women working to make handcrafted items. We also met the project Coordinator, Radhika. She walked us through the facility and answered all our queries about the women from the community who come to this facility to work.

Located in Bhuj, Khamir Craft Resource Centre works to preserve, sustain, and promote the arts and crafts of the Kachchh region. They work with designers from leading design institutes in India who work with Khamir to produce a wide range of products that incorporate the tradition techniques for contemporary products.

 We met with the trade manager who walked us through the facility. He spoke of the wide range of craft workers they associate with, such as embroidery, tie dye, block print, felt, leather work, copper belts, and silver jewelry. Khamir's agenda is to find market for these crafts and also to provide workshops for perfecting the techniques for high quality products. They currently sell to Handmade Expressions, Maiwa, and Feel good factor.

Another aspect that seemed to impress us was their take on payment. As in the case of a block printer who gets paid by the meter, Khamir believes in paying the block printer more money so that the printer takes his time printing the fabric instead of hurrying through so that he could get the most money in a day. This truly helps start the cycle where the artisans are getting the opportunity to respect their craft and still survive.

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