COVID-19 Fallout: Homegrown Brands Resort To Crowd-Funding To Support Artisans

Bhubaneswar: Artisans across the country have suffered huge losses due to the lockdown. The situation has put a number of Odisha-based brands, who have involved local artisans, in a difficult situation.

Jyoshna Das, a city-based entrepreneur has been promoting indigenous fabrics of the state. Her brand, Bivabari, was initiated with an aim to develop newer and better techniques in weaving handloom apparels and to impart a contemporary touch to traditional Odisha handlooms.

She has partnered with traditional weavers to create her designs. In the last four years, it has grown to support around 80 artisans. With business coming to a halt, it has become extremely difficult for her to support the artisans.

To tide over the crisis, she has started a fund-raising campaign on Ketto, an online crowd-funding platform in India for fundraising. “While I am doing everything I can to continue supporting the artisans, I might not be able to continue doing this on my own as the lockdown extends. Hence, I realised crowd-funding would be a great way to ensure that the artisans are able to meet their daily expenses,” she said.

One of her artisans, Utkal Keshari Das, is the sole bread earner in the family. Das who is a pattachitra artist, says, “This craft has been a source of livelihood since the time of our ancestors. We are now suffering a lot due to the lockdown. While we are getting help from our workplace with business totally shut, there are no sources of finances coming in.”

Manas Ranjan Sahoo who runs a brand called Anki, has also started a similar campaign on Ketto. His brand focuses on uplifting the local artisan community by promoting Odisha handloom/handicrafts.

“We have had to close our workshops due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which has greatly impacted the weavers and artisans associated who depend on us for regular income. I am continuing to pour my savings into helping their families get their sustainable livelihood. However, I have started this fundraiser to get help from the art lovers to continue supporting these weavers and artisans through this crisis,” he says.



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