At a time when traditional village industries are facing severe competition from various quarters because of globalisation and liberalisation, the Karnataka Folklore University has come up with a proposal to adopt a village and develop it into a self-sustaining artisans’ village.

Although traditional artisans have the requisite skills, they find it difficult to market their goods in a systematic way owing to lack of proper awareness and network links. The folklore varsity, based at Gotagodi in Shiggaon taluk, Haveri district, plans to chip in and help them evolve a sustainable model.

To begin with, the university has proposed to adopt Kayaka Nagar, a locality near Narendra village in Dharwad taluk, spread over 35 acres and populated by around 80 families, including artisans.

Kayaka Nagar was developed over 15 years ago by the District Industries Centre to help artisans to take up their vocations and develop the locality into a market in itself. However, it is now in a sorry state, and the university plans to develop it.

Now the folklore varsity wants to adopt the entire locality and help artisans find a permanent source of revenue through their vocations and also make the locality sustainable by developing it into a heritage spot and a workshop for rural development experiments.

Encouraging the youth

“We want to take it up as a pilot project. We will focus on encouraging the youth to pursue the traditional arts and enable them to use new technology in their work, but let them retain the traditional touch so that it can be passed on to the next generation. We have sought the necessary permissions and land at the locality,” Vice-chancellor of the varsity Ambalike Hiriyanna told The Hindu.

The university’s proposal is to develop the locality as a model, which has the traditional knowledge put to best use and is sustainable also.

“We want to develop it in a way that shows how traditional vocations such as pottery or carpentry could help artisans lead a normal life,” senior research officer Premkumar said.

In fact, the varsity’s next plan is to make use of the pilot project to provide practical training to students taking up postgraduate studies in rural management.

“Once we receive the permissions, we can even use it as a workshop for our students to provide practical training and also take up research works,” said Chandra Pujari, dean.

The university has already discussed the issue with local MLAs and officials of Dharwad.

Joint Director of DIC Malatesh Jeevannavar told The Hindu that the proposal was still pending before the district committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, who would forward it for the State government’s approval.

  • Karnataka Folklore University wants to ‘adopt’ Kayaka Nagar near Narendra village in Dharwad

  • ‘It will be developed in a way that shows how traditional vocations can help artisans lead a normal life’