Excerpts from Crafts in Transition

Craft, Handloom, Art, Safeguarding, Endangered, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Excerpts from Crafts in Transition

Chatterjee, Ashoke

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Excerpts from Crafts in Transition Prof. Ashoke Chatterjee 15th April 2005 IIC, N. DELHI

It is interesting to listen to professionals whose basic preoccupation is what constitutes development? What sustainable development actually means? And how do we measure it? One of the remarks that stuck in my mind was made by a lady from Geneva who said these days what measures, what gets counted is what comes otherwise it slips through the cracks. I was thinking of this because year before last when we were celebrating 50 years of 'craft renaissance' a lot of issues came up from the master craftsmen and their chelas (disciples), the people who are the next generation of craftsmen. I wonder two years down the road with the political and economic changes that have taken place what really has happened to those issues raised. I would like to focus on the economic aspect as I think the cultural aspect of craft is something we have paid much more attention to over these years and have more consensus on then the so called development aspects. Let me just give you some figures that may be out of date but they are figures that I have been using. I haven't been able to find any better ones. These go back 10 years so make adjustments for that. According to the NCAER, the output by 4 million craft persons a decade ago was above Rs. 30,000 crores in output, not in revenue. I called them up yesterday (14th April 2005) and according to them the figure is about Rs. 50,000 crores output today. That is the output of 4 million artisans but how many artisans do we have in this country. And since the preoccupation of all our Governments and...

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