Crafts Council of India (CCI): All about
The Crafts Council of India (CCI) was founded in 1964 by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay as one of her pioneering efforts toward protecting and enhancing India’s heritage in the nation’s transition to modernity.
Inspired by the commitment of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore to hand production as a catalyst for political and social emancipation, as well as her experience with national efforts at craft regeneration since Independence.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay felt the need for mobilizing public awareness and action. For this, she brought together a band of volunteers in CCI to help build a lasting awareness of the knowledge and skills of India’s artisans, and to help address their needs within a rapidly changing environment.
It is with the purpose of protecting this identity, that the CCI was established. The CCI is a registered not for profit Society headquartered in Chennai, Tamilnadu.
Regional and local efforts were encouraged, particularly through the founding of Crafts Councils in different States.
Today CCI works together with a network of 9 State councils.
CCI is engaged in partnerships with the Government of India and other activists to ensure a national awareness of the economic, social, cultural and environmental importance of artisans and their crafts.
The Crafts Council of India strives towards an India in which its artisan communities are valued, respected and supported with an enabling environment that renews and enhances their heritage for contemporary relevance and self-worth.
- To help ensure sustainable livelihoods through crafts.
- To help ensure growth for artisans and their families through opportunities for education and training.
- To help bring technology, design, marketing and entrepreneurial skills for self-reliance within changing markets at home and abroad.
- To promote research and documentation that can help conserve tradition and provide resources for future development.
- To advocate the critical importance of artisans and their crafts to the nation’s social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being.
CCI and its affiliates concentrate on securing artisanal livelihoods from craft production . Traditional craft skills have to be made relevant and marketable in India. Exhibitions, sales, design, education, training, product development, trade contacts and market feedback are the hallmark of CCI’s work
How CCI support
Evolution and growth are essential to a vibrant industry. Traditional Indian crafts have lasted this far because of their intrinsic strength to adapt. Yet they face the threat of stagnation and irrelevance.
CCI has been working tirelessly in the areas of skill, technique and technology up-gradation like the use of power tools for stone carvers, finishing techniques for woodcarvers, natural dyes on natural fibres, product design for non-conventional fibre and shell jewellery.
CCI has organised several workshops to benefit artisans.
CCI’s main thrust is providing marketing opportunities for artisans. CCI has emerged as a source of marketing expertise, rooted in a sensitive understanding of the past and the changing needs of consumers. The marketing support is provided through, training and demonstration of the technology, design intervention, product development and diversification.
Small format thematic exhibitions and large format craft bazaars are the hallmarks of CCI’s marketing intervention.
These activities have led to the emergence of the Kamala brand as a model of craft excellence and an effective platform for retailing artisanal work.
HOW CCI SUSTAIN
In the world of the artisan, a generation is a measure of survival – of family survival as well as of the legacy of craft skills. When for a generation, skills are not practised and handed down, they are lost. Children of artisans, vital to the perpetuation of craft heritage, are often forced to exit from the craft due to economic uncertainties.
These compel them to seek alternative livelihoods, often at a tender age and far from home. Giving these children the option of a fulfilling career within their tradition depends on sustained demand for handmade products of quality. Promoting this demand is CCI’s central purpose, within which the Council has initiated this unique scheme.
Educate to Sustain
CCI Scholarship Programme
The purpose of CCI Scholarships is to create opportunities for artisans and their children to build capacities relevant to their needs and those of a changing market through education, training and exposure.
While clearly, CCI seeks to encourage GenNext to prosper within the traditions of its forbears, the Council also works to provide the children of artisans with the same options of growth and opportunity which are, or should be, the right of all children. Through this approach, carrying on with tradition can become a conscious choice for a young person rather than a compulsion of caste or community, contributing to the dignity of the individual, the advancement of the community, and to pride in craftsmanship.
Special attention is paid to the girl child and the woman artisans, as well as to children from other communities who have been exposed to craft/have a demonstrated aptitude for craft while not belonging to hereditary families.
Scholarships are provided from class vi – xii
For more Knowledge Visit the official website of CCI - crafts council of india
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