Ten years ago, Narayanan decided to give up his work as bell metal craftsman as it did not pay him enough. As he was on the verge of giving up, Vayali, a non-governmental organisation, stepped in to give lend him a helping hand.

Vayali, committed to preserving traditional and folk practices of the State, built him a work shed and extended support.

“The government has welfare schemes for traditional craftsmen. But they are often not aware of these. They also do not know how to bring their products to new markets,” says Krishnadas, who works with Vayali.

The organisation put Narayanan and his work on the internet and he now gets orders even from as far as Delhi from people who have seen his work on Facebook.

Vayali, based in Thrissur, also works with traditional potters, weavers, bamboo craftsmen, grass mat weavers, and folk artists.

The organisation began as a folklore group brought together by its love of folk art and the Bharathapuzha.