The Dastkar movement changed this to a large extent. "Dastkar"is a Hindi word, literally meaning "crafterperson" and true to its name, it is a society of and for craftspersons. Founded in 1981, the organisation has slowly managed to put these crafts back into not just the living rooms of Indians but onto a global map. The society aims to make these craftspersons self-reliant, accountable for their own production, accounting and marketing, and in doing so, eliminates the 'middle-man' between the artist and the consumer, ensuring that all profits go directly to the artisan. One of the ways in which Dastkar promotes these arts is by organising Dastkar Melas or fairs in cities across India. I've been a regular visitor to the one in Delhi over the years, but a couple of weekends back I accidentally walked into the Dastkar Fair in Bangalore, much to my delight.
Could the Flaneuse waste this opportunity? No chance! I present to you some of the hues of Dastkar.
I urge you to discover the rest for yourself the next time Dastkar is in your city. These artists deserve it.