Happy Hands Foundation is committed towards the revival of traditional/folk art and craft, empowering rural artisans and building potential in women and young people to lead community development activities and craft entrepreneurship.

India Crafts Installation_FotorIndia has passed through so many hands, rulers and dynasties. And each regime gifted India with its craft and culture.  These crafts have been kept alive by the country’s 7 million plus artisans. Sadly, today more than 200 crafts are endangered, and each year we stand to lose 10% of our artisans to labour jobs.

In a country which has been known for its culture and diversity, for its rich tradition and handwork, and is home to more than 7 million craftspeople, traditional crafts and art are on a steady decline.

From the beginning of time, it was artisans who crafted the first drinking water pot, and hand embroidered quilts. As we moved towards industrialisation and later, globalisation, somewhere in the move, we failed to notice the slow decline of existing craftspeople and the state of poverty artisans today, have been reduced to.

While working with artisans in 2009 to build better access to markets, we realized the value of design education had been severely lacking amidst them and therefore made skilled craftspeople dependent on designers for new ideas.

In 2010-12 our focus remained artisan education and creating opportunities for them in the mainstream market through our various programs and projects.

In 2013, we began to realise that there was still a huge need to focus on preserving crafts and strengthening the impact we had in communities.

Through 2014-16, we have steadily built upon artisan-enterprises and developing artist-capacity to manage their markets;  enabling young people to learn and focus on the details in traditional art and heritage based projects.

Throughout our journey, we were immensely supported by young people from colleges and universities across India.It is their invaluable contribution, that inspired us to initiate student-entrepreneurship in crafts.

We envision a time when artisans are recognised for their skill and talent, and are given due recognition. A time when children of artisans, and those of others, take pride in this profession, and are able to be active voices for change and can inspire and impact their communities – just through their creativity.

Our programs and projects therefore rest on Preservation & Revival of Crafts, Artisan Empowerment, Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Crafts, and Cultural Exchanges.

We urge you to get involved, learn about crafts, and our approach to creating a sustainable crafts identity for India.

During my cultural exchange program, I learnt so much – in the village we don’t get to experiment, but here we did. We used different materials and made different colours. Understanding market trends has also helped me immensely, as now I am able to make better products for the market.

Aakib Khatri

Ajrakh Block Printer, Gujarat

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