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Paramparik Karigar is a voluntary, non-profit, non-governmental organization of craftsmen for craftsmen.
The idea to form an organization for and by the craftspersons came as a result of the frustration felt by craftspersons at the way the crafts were being understood in the country. In 1982 they asked Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Roshan Kalapesi to assist in forming an association of craftspersons. As the organization grew, it was registered in 1996 as Paramparik Karigar under Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act.
Today Paramparik Karigar comprises of 90 crafts units from 14 different states of India. These units are involved in different forms of traditional art and craft such as tribal paintings, carving (stone and wood), pottery, natural dying and weaving, Temple art, embroidery, metal casting, inlay work, palm leaf etching, miniature painting, country craft to name a few.
The aim of the association is to preserve and promote traditional art and craft as well as strive to create a productive environment conducive for the craftsmen. It also endeavors to ensure that craftsmen have a sustainable income. The emphasis is not only on craft but also on the craftsman and his needs.
Paramparik Karigar aims at ensuring that the children of craftsmen continue the family tradition of craft by making craft sustainable; increasing awareness of Indian craft in the country and abroad; and helping craftsmen in terms of design so that they have a wider market.
ACTIVITIES AND TRAINING
To further their aim, the association organises exhibitions, seminars and fairs exhibiting high quality crafts at competitive prices. The entire proceeds of sales go directly to the craftspersons.
The organization helps craftspersons conduct art demonstrations and workshops in schools and in cultural centres to create an awareness of the complexity and beauty of Indian craft and also to encourage young people to consider craft as a vocation.
As part of its activities, Paramparik Karigar organizes regular training workshops during which the craftsmen are exposed to new fabrication methods, use of new materials and are made aware of the new products demanded by the market.
In January 2003, the National Gallery of Modern Art displayed craft created by members of Paramparik Karigar. The break from tradition and the acceptance of the role of craft in contemporary culture marks a historic, first ever event. The organization also helped its members hold a first ever craft auction conducted by Bowrings to raise funds for themselves. For the first time in the history of Bowrings, 95% of the exhibits were sold - a record. Again, the entire proceeds of the auction went to the craftspersons.
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