Additional costs and lack of knowledge about digital payments has affected the artisans’ profits
Taru Bhatia | December 23, 2016 | Kutch
Mangal Bhai Rama Harijan is a craftsman from Kawada village, 50 kilometres from the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, the place where India’s most prominent cultural festival takes place every year.
The festival, Rann Utsav, is a 110 days cultural festival. It begins in November and will go on till February. It gives the opportunity to local artisans to display their ‘Kutchchi’ handiwork. This year however, demonetisation has hit them hard and has taken down their business.
Harijan has set up his stall of ‘paka’ work, a form of handmade embroidery of Kutch. He has been seeting up a stall every year for the past 10 years. But this year he saw a dip in his business. He blames demonetisation. “It is been a month now and I have been able to earn around Rs 15,000 only. Last year, in three months, I managed to earn Rs 2 lakh,” he says. He says that melas like these are a good opportunity for local artisans like him to earn money.
Harijan brings local handicraft work from 10-15 villages. He says women who do embroidery work at villages earn from Rs 200 to 300 per day. But unfortunately, only 10 percent of the business took place this month.
On asked why he is not using his mobile phone to do cashless transactions, he says that the process is complicated and he doesn’t know how to use it.
Many handicraft stall owners at the Rann Utsav complained that they were not given any training on how to use digital payment channels.
Lalji, another stall owner from Dholavira, about 300 kilometres from Kutch says, “They told us to go cashless but didn’t teach us how to do it.” Lalji, who opened his stall on December 1, says that in 15 days he has earned Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 only. Last year in the same time period, he managed to earn about Rs 40,000.
The government official did come once to discuss cashless channels with the local handicraft sellers but never returned. “They came once to collect our account numbers and said that they will come again to teach them how to use digital wallet Paytm. But they never came,” says Arun Vanakar, another seller of Kutch handicraft.
Vanakar mentions that many visitors wish to pay through Paytm, as they want to save their cash. “One lady taught me how to use Paytm. It wasn’t that difficult. If official had trained us earlier, we would have not been struggling,” he adds.
Moreover, the Gujarat government this year started to charge Rs 100 per day rent from the stall owners, which was earlier rent-free. This has added more to the artisans’ woes. “Already the business is slow and now we have to pay rent too every day. We are not able to make a single rupee profit so far,” Harijan adds.
Fire on the Ganges: Life among the Dead in Banaras By Radhika Iyengar 4th Estate / HarperCollins, 348 pages, 599
Calling for reforms in the Engineering Department of BMC, Mumbai Vikas Samiti, a not-for-profit organisation has said that less than optimum performance of Engineering Function has added to the woes of citizens and deterioration in the quality of life in the metro. In its recently released r
Hailing the Maharashtra government for introducing a bill to amend the Insecticide Act, 1968, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) India has called the amendments ‘very focussed’ and urged the state to expand their scope to address other challenges. The bill, introduced in the a
`Garba of Gujarat` has been inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity by UNESCO, under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 18th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of t
Since its inception, Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System has witnessed more than 12.77 lakh complaints registered (till November 15, 2023), and has saved more than Rs. 930 crore in more than 3.80 lakh complaints. This was stated by minister of state for home affair
Impacts and implications of Climate Change Vulnerability in the Himalayan Region and ways of creating ‘Climate Resilient Development in Indian Himalayan Region by making mountain communities green and resilient were discussed the side event hosted at the India pavilion at the UN Climate Conference CO