What is the Kaarigar Clinic?
कारीगर / karigara / artisan
i.e. man who makes things skillfully with his hands
The handicrafts sector is the second largest employment generator in India, providing employment to more than 7.3 million people, and according to the national census of handicrafts, the Indian handicrafts industry is a billion industry [worldwide] and contributes 2% of the global market. According to the UN, over the past 30 years, the number of Indian artisans has decreased by 30%.
Besides a lack of education and resources, for artisans a sense of identity and dignity is missing. The developed world creates a faceless market, where the artisan’s pride has been lost. Can we create a face-to-face market for artisans?
Nilesh Priyadarshi, Priyadarshi, a research fellow from Gujarat Vidyapith came up with the idea of “Kaarigar Clinic,” India’s first rural business clinic for kaarigars, where he provides the service of a business health checkup for artisans. He is advocating for individual artisan brands which give them a value, recognition and dignity. He wants to develop micro artisan entrepreneurs and self-sufficient business models in rural India.
We have three stellar representatives who excelled with the guidance of Kaarigar Clinic:
Pabiben Laxmi Rabari
A vibrant Rabari lady, who struggled in her childhood and became famous at a young age. She dared to start the first women’s artisan brand “pabiben.com.” Today, Pabiben has become a global face for women’s empowerment, earns Rs. 25 lakhs a year and supports 150 women in her community. She has become an inspiration and an idol to many in her community.
A traditional block printer who tried to make a livelihood in the city but got back to his roots in Kutch. He worked at a factory in Bachau which eventually closed doors. On the brink of unemployment, he started a small unit of Ajrakh print in Dhamadka village and stayed true to his tradition.
A traditional weaver from Kotay village who lost her husband at a young age. To generate income, she started weaving independently in a male dominated field. She proved to become a pioneer of weaving with plastic and an environmentalist residing in Avadnagar, Bhuj.
“Can we develop 1 million Pabiben rather than to develop a 1-billion-dollar company?”
This is the billion dollar question that Kaarigar Clinic is attempting to answer.