Crafting a Livelihood in India

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building sustainability for indian artisans

CRAFTINGALIVELIHOOD/ JANUARY2013

Tableof Contents

Foreword Executive Summary

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I.

Craftspeople – The Backbone of India's Non-Farm Rural Economy Sector Overview, profile of indian artisans, crafts value chain and key challenges

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In Sanskrit, Dasra means Enlightened Giving. Dasra is India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation. Dasra works with philanthropists and successful social entrepreneurs to bring together knowledge, funding and people as a catalyst for social change. We ensure that strategic funding and capacity building skills reach non profit organizations and social businesses to have the greatest impact on the lives of people living in poverty. www.dasra.org

II.

Government, Private Sector and Non Profit Initiatives
Role of key stakeholders in enhancing artisans’ sustainability

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III.

Harnessing the Potential of India's Crafts Sector
Four cornerstones of artisans’ sustainability and recommended interventions for philanthropic support

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IV.

Mapping Non Profits and High Impact Interventions
AIACA Avani

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The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations continue developing a modern view of philanthropy through which they defend the dignity and empowerment of each individual. The Foundations’ primary focus is on education, with projects in a range of areas: arts and culture, social entrepreneurship, intercultural dialogue, health and research and philanthropic education. Through their geographic locations and range of projects, the Foundations represent a rich, multicultural network. They endeavor to identify local initiatives and provide close monitoring of their numerous stakeholders while sharing this experience internationally. By applying an entrepreneurial method to the universe of philanthropy, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations contribute to the growing professionalism of the social sector. They moreover work towards the recognition of the pluralism inherent to all societies and the respect for their citizen’s many identities. www.edrfoundations.org

Craft Revival Trust Dastakar Earthy Goods Foundation Gramshree Kala Raksha Khamir ORUPA SAHAJ Shrujan

Concluding Thoughts Appendices A. Methodology and Selection Criteria B. End Notes C. Bibliography D. Acknowledgments and Organization Database

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Report published in: January 2013 Cover Photo Credit: KHAMIR

Foreword
One of the biggest issues in India is that our markets do not recognize the true value of craft. When this value is recognized, and if people are willing to pay a higher price for craft-based products, this should translate into higher wages for weavers and craftspeople and act as a boost to millions of rural-based livelihood opportunities associated with this sector. The economics however is not as simple, as finally it comes down to the conflict between pricing and sales. If you out-price goods, you sell only a limited number. If you don't give crafts people enough work, it kills the craft. Sustainable livelihoods will ultimately depend on finding a fine balance between the two. Fabindia follows an inclusive model of capitalism, placing craft at the center of the quest for profitability and growth. I grew up watching my father build this company. I was also very idealistic so I started a co-operative in 1989 and ran it till 1991. While I soon realized this was not the answer, this experience helped me understand what I wanted to do with my role at FabIndia. If you look at business, success is generally defined by measurable outcomes, financial profit and the material impact. We are taught to squeeze each and every opportunity as hard as we can to maximize profit. In a conventional way, all of this makes a lot of sense. But my experience in business has been different. I operate a business, which is one of the most profitable businesses in the retail space in India. Yet, it is also one...
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