Let's Help and #DoRight12:11
I have been passionate about traditional art since a very young age. I remember those days back in the streets of Sitapur, when I used to go to visit my grandparents, I had a wonderful neighbour called masira kaki. Kaki was an art enthusiast and I used to love visiting her and sitting by her side, admiring her work. knitting a charpai, a hand fan or a wall hanger. I used be very fascinated by her work and often think how great it would be if such beautiful hand made artifacts were sold in Bangalore too.
Kaki was doing it for a living.She used to tell me how Kaku was in his last stages of life and their family was in an intense need of money. Out of curiosity I used to ask her questions like "ye kitne me bik sakta hai kaki?" (how much will this piece sell for) and her answer would be the same always... "zyada kuch nai bitiya, kuch so doso me bik jayega" (Not much dear. Just a hundred or so)
On hearing this, my heart would shatter. I mean seriously?!! I had seen her work on that single piece of hand-fan, traditional pattachitra painting or charpai for months together! ...and it was not like you could buy a branded hand-fan in the market for an easy price of 100. Then why were these beautiful handmade pieces of fine art so underpriced and unappreciated?!!
I couldn't understand it then but as I grew up, I came to learn about the real reasons why artists who made hand art received such low fares for their work. The main reason was the middle men involved. These middlemen also known as 'khariddars' by the locals of Sitapur, bought these beautiful pieces of art by poor artisans for very less prices and sold them in the market for triple the actual price they bought the goods for.
Today, when we learn about organisations like Do Right, our heart fills with admiration! For those of you who are not aware, Raghurajpur, a village in the suburbs of Puri, is a heritage of arts and crafts where every villager is an artist and every home an artist's studio! While some do it to earn their living, some do it out of passion.
They say that several years ago a farmer-turned-artist, Jagannath Mohapatra, who was famed for his Odisha artwork, needed help so he decided to teach this refined artwork to some villagers. Soon, the whole village started practicing the same and now Raghurajpur has evolved into a an artisan village.
|The artists of Raghurajpur at work|
Though the starter of this noble job is no more, his legacy continues even today. The artists of Raghurajpur produce immensely beautiful pieces of art but unfortunately, due to middlemen, they do not get a fair remuneration for their hard work.
Don't you think these artists deserve a fair price for their work which is their means of living? Do Right, is a website which has been started to help such people by directly showcasing the art work of these people on the website and directly supplying it to the consumers,preventing the interference of middlemen, therefore promising a fair price for these artists.
I often think that if Kaki had been alive today, she would have been very happy on hearing about this initiative... I don't won't the poor artists of Raghurajpur to suffer the way Kaki and her family did so I am making my first contribution towards this noble cause by spreading the word to all of you.
You can DONATE any amount or contribute by simply spreading the word far and wide! Remember, every penny you donate, every message you spread counts and contributes towards a better future of these poor villagers!
To know more about these wonderful artists of Raghurajpur and to get a closer insight of their hard work and living, watch this video.: