Handmade articles by skilled artisans may not be readily available due to its low-key marketing. Attempting to change this, 62 students of Institute of Financial Markets and Management (ITI-IFM), Kharghar, have joined hands with the government to help 50 artisans from rural India to market and sell their products. The two-day workshop-cum-fair was held at the Urban Haat fair in Belapur from October 21-22.
During the workshop, the artisans were taught how to operate mobile phones and were also introduced to online marketing. “Since many of these artisans have no clue about modern technology, we are training them in basics such as opening an e-mail account, using passwords and operating a laptop,” said Tahir Hussain Faruqi (21), a student of ITI-IFM.
The students believe that getting acquainted with technology will help artisans promote their skills and wares in different parts of the country and the world. “The artisans have set up stalls here, and have sold a variety of handmade products, ranging from silk sarees to handbags,” said Saumya Tamrakar (22), a student conducting the workshop.
“This workshop will go a long way in helping these people, with ‘Urban Haat’ and the government also sponsoring them financially,” added Tamrakar. “This is an excellent initiative, especially since the culture of buying handmade products has become almost extinct in the country, and we are pleased in helping out these artisans,” said KSV Nair, manager of ‘Urban Haat’.
Though privatisation has affected the handmade culture in the country, the students felt this workshop will help the artisans become financially independent. “This initiative is a part of our college curriculum and our main aim is in helping these artisans with online and mobile trading,” said MBA student, Monu Dubey.
“We are happy that the government has given us the opportunity to open stalls,” said Mohammed Rafi (18), a stall owner. “Though we plan to return to our homes once this exhibition ends, the government should definitely plan more initiatives such as these for artisans in the near future,” added Rafi.