Helping Hands is a humble effort to get the rural artisans from around India back on the economic train after their lives have been devastated by the global coronavirus pandemic.
According to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, “The year 2020 could see the worst global economic fallout since the Great Depression in the 1930s with over 170 countries likely to experience negative per capita income growth due to the raging coronavirus pandemic.”
We are seeing the catastrophic economic downturn all over the world, and the hardest hit are the poor, the marginalised, the daily wagers, the artisans. These are the people who cannot put food on the table if they have not worked that day. Despite massive efforts from a range of people, including the Government, it might take a long time for these people to get back on their feet. For some, that day might be too late with many succumbing to poverty.
We realise that we do not have the resources to make a difference to everyone who is suffering. But we can make a difference to one family at a time, one community of people at a time. We are focussing on artisans who will possibly take the longest to recover, given that leisure travel is very badly hit and might take an inordinately long time to get back to a new normal.
Just to put things in perspective, global tourism in 2016 accounted for US$ 7.6 trillion … that has virtually disappeared. Tourism accounts for one in 10 jobs, and these have entirely disappeared with the global travel ban. With the economies slowly limping back, chances are that leisure travel will be among the last to revive because of the lack of disposable income and more pressing priorities for people.
We need to reach out and do our humble bit to help these hapless people … one artisan at a time.
We are starting from Rajasthan and hope to reach at least 1,000 artisans from over the next few months, providing them fair compensation for honest work.
We will travel all around Rajasthan buying artefacts and souvenirs from rural artisans and offering them to people from around the country. Rajasthan has a rich history of handicrafts and some of the various crafts that are prevalent there are block making, blue pottery, bone work, dhurrie weaving, embroidery, felt products, handmade jewellery, handmade paper, idol making, lac ware, leather footwear, leather work, metal engraving, miniature painting, mobile shrines, musical instruments, painting, paper stencils, puppet making, quilt making, shell craft, silverware, stone work, terracotta work, tie dye, weaving, wood and lac turning, etc.
We hope to be able to make enough money for each of these artisans so that they can maintain a life of dignity and that none of these families have to go to bed hungry.
Till such time as the lockdown and stay-at-home and travel restrictions exists, we are preparing to start the programme. We are building a corpus to fast track the process of helping the artisans.
This is an individual effort supported by people willing to lend their shoulder to the wheel. Help build the corpus and become the proud owner of some absolutely gorgeous handicrafts.
Click on the link below to help generate the corpus.
We need to join our hands together to ensure that at least some of these artisans can get back on their feet thanks to the Helping Hands that we offer.
Do let us know of any artisan community that you would like to reach out to through the Helping Hands initiative.
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