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Date(s) - 08/03/2021
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Cisco Webex


Impact and Future of Handicrafts for Women in the post Covid-19 India

Jaya Jaitly

Women are often caught into clichéd but motivational phrases like, “Women hold up half the sky” and being termed as Mothers or Goddesses. In reality they are largely bound into a patriarchal system where they have hardly decision making power in their hands. Yet their hands are full of extraordinary talent, largely self-taught. Along with talent they have immense resilience. Even if women are ‘’allowed to work” the phrase itself reveals multiple mind-sets and class and caste divisions with our society. However, even Mahatma Gandhi had the intellectual honesty to change his position about women working at different points of time in his life.
The beauty of India/s cultural diversity is most and best preserved by women in a multitude of ceremonies and celebrations which are both daily and seasonal. They are the silent and steadfast carriers of India’s cultural practices which are seen through decorative and creative expressions which are both community based and very personal and individual at the same time. A large component of this is art and craft practices.
Creative activity carries on in spite of illnesses, tragedies and even the recent Covid-19 pandemic. There are many examples of the ‘before’ and ‘after’, and how, through many vicissitudes, it is women who have carried life and earnings forward. There are revealing stories to tell across the country how craft practices among women have carried on, faded and been revived, and been part of many new resurgences. Eventually, the continuity of craft practices will continue as women acquire pride and awareness of their unique skills, become economically empowered because of resulting earnings, and important other factors like the Atmanirbhar Bharat program and the New Education Policy.
Women can and should be at thefore front of strong movements and messages of the advantages of recycle and reuse, use of natural materials rather than synthetics in crafts to protect our planet, and for creating a more egalitarian society that is respectful of the unique talents of the women of India.