THE SOLIDARITY PROJECT
‘Sustaining communities starts with love and empathy. We are always striving to create an environment of support for our artisans where they feel a part of a family and in a supportive environment where their troubles do not go unnoticed’
During the unfortunate and unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic which inevitably led to a sudden halt in regular functioning and production of industries including the small cottage industries, many of our artisans in remote villages were struggling to make ends meet without being able to provide food and protection for themselves and their families. Despite the fight against coronavirus, we never halted our efforts to support weavers, especially when they were and continue to be the most vulnerable.
A nationwide lockdown meant that handlooms had to come to a standstill, production was immediately paused and both domestic and international orders were put on hold or cancelled. Many weavers’ regular means of income stopped coming in and they were forced to live in tough conditions facing a plethora of issues. They have families to support, loans to take care of, and in need of basic commodities among other things as essentials are vital for survival. Henceforth, we took it upon ourselves to support our artisans in this crucial time of need.
While working on different ways to support weaver communities, we planned immediate distribution of essentials for them and their families, alongside focusing on urgent post lockdown actions needed as well. We are happy to have assisted weavers in distress in Puttapaka village situated in Yadadri Bhuvagiri district of Telangana .With the help of local bodies, village elders and weavers, ration, groceries & other items required for a safe and comfortable existence during lockdown, were distributed to weavers and their families.
‘Masks have in the present scenario gone from curiosity to commonplace, virtually overnight. In the wake of the pandemic, masks have not only become essential commodities, but due to shortages, they have become hard to find’
In our efforts to provide livelihood opportunity as well as protection to our artisans, we worked with the Kalamkari craft cluster to plan material, stitching and distribution of masks to craftspeople, their families and surrounding communities. 700 masks were planned to start with in Pedanna, Machilipatnam and clean, non-dyed, 100% cotton cloth was used as it's breathable, easily washable hence reusable and comfortable to wear. As part of the preparation, the cloth was immersed in water overnight to remove impurities and starch, then rinsed and dried.
With support of the Kalamkari unit, masks were given to the craftspeople who will further distribute these to their families and neighbours. We are elated that we were also able to provide livelihood for the tailors in the process and hope to do a lot more going forward.