Adilabad artisans await online marketing support

Craftsmen say buyers find location a handicap but they can't leave traditional markets

Updated - September 12, 2016 07:45 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2016 12:00 am IST - ADILABAD:

Traditional wares:Traditional brass artefacts made by tribal Ojha craftsmen of Adilabad district.- Photo: S. Harpal Singh

Traditional wares:Traditional brass artefacts made by tribal Ojha craftsmen of Adilabad district.- Photo: S. Harpal Singh

The absence of Adilabad’s traditional handicrafts in lucrative urban markets is an aberration to the reputation enjoyed by the Dhokra metal artefacts and softwood Nirmal Toys made by the poor Ojha and Naqash craftsmen.

The one way of bridging the gap between the traditional craft and urban markets is to sell the products online, which will also substantially increase the artisans’ income.

Earlier initiatives failed

Not that there has been no effort towards such an enterprise. But a couple of initiatives made last year to sell Nirmal toys online came a cropper. Also, the Telangana government’s announcement of facilitating online marketing of the softwood toys is yet to materialise.

A non-governmental organisation developed a website for the online sale of the toys but it could not become operative as the Naqash craftsmen found packaging the products difficult. The Department of Posts too came forward to sell the toys through its network, but for some reason it did not see the light of day either.

“Purchasing cartons for packing the toys was expensive,” said Nirmal Toys and Arts Industrial Cooperative Society Manager B.R. Shankar.

Metal casting

For the Ojha craftsmen of Jainoor, Kerameri and Tamsi mandals, who have traditionally been making artefacts used by the Gond Adivasis in agriculture and religious activities, there has been no such effort. The community has, however, been benefiting from several workshops aimed at design development in their brass metal casting craft.

“We will certainly benefit from any support towards online marketing of our products as buyers find it tough to reach our remote villages. Our location is a handicap but we cannot leave our traditional markets,” said Uike Indrajeet, Ojha craftsman from Belsari Rampur in Tamsi mandal.

The Ojhas will not find it difficult to handle online marketing as it has a few youths educated sufficiently to package and ship the products. The website, however, needs to be developed by experts.

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