The concept of cultural awakening lies far ahead of creation and imagination. India is the only country with a rich textile and skill heritage destined with a huge cultural treasure that it sits on. To pay homage to and revive such rarity of talent and approach to Indian artwork, Vanvasi Project India, an aggregator startup company, aims to activate the development of craft-based clusters in the villages of India. The team at Vanvasi Project India is helping revive heritage hand embroidery skills in rural sectors of Uttar Pradesh initially.
India’s creative and cultural sector is rising again after the vexation of the Coronavirus. However, this led to poor sales of handmade objects to tourists. Sales were limited to annual fairs and mela’s to help the maker of a product meet the expenses for them annually. Hence, shifting the focus towards improving craft talents and producing more value-added products with strategic relevance and utility to the urban class in today’s economy is essential to sustain the livelihoods of Indian artisans. Three founders recognized these impediments in the art & craft domain and enforced their expertise on the matter. The idea finally became a reality after the reverse migration during the covid lockdown.
After graduating in Architecture and pursuing management education, Architect Rishabh Sachan in collaboration with Alka Katiyar (degree in psychology) and grandfather Shirish Chandra Katiyar, became firmly attached to thinking out-of-the-box and starting their own enterprise. The intention was to provide advertising support to rural & tribal art and work in stabilizing the livelihood of the people who compose them. It is an effort to strengthen the value chain of hand-based embroidery artwork and make every individual count in the value chain. The value development process revolves around projecting Khadi and other natural textiles that have been intensely related to the DNA of India.
Cultural sectors have incorporated a trend in addition to adapting to technological advances and the evolving place of media in society. Sophisticated production processes and large-scale distribution methods are now used to reach global markets. The process of making people realize their historical significance and hand skills has become quintessential. Hence, Vanvasi Project India is starting from scratch. Their practice involves quality improvement to uplift the pricing of the item. Architect Rishabh Sachan manages the aspects of strategy, design, and supply chain. At the same time, Alka Katiyar teaches the village people, especially women, different techniques in hand embroidery that are exclusive to India, as well as motivates them to know their self-worth and abilities.
The motifs and patterns embroidered by the delicate fingers depict Indian forest life and biodiversity with the fusion of Indian classical architecture. The artisanal creations are designed to create a new language of Indianness for a global consumer in the age of social media and instant gratification. The product line will also include home decor and lifestyle objects fostering national aesthetics. Moreover, the company brings its authenticity from skilling marginalized people to be able to make their craft translate consciously into superior quality products for the luxury segment. They are training the artisans to create a product for the global consumer who is looking for something unique. However, it is an uphill task to motivate the village artisans who struggle to earn and make them believe how important and talented they are to the global society that looks towards India for handmade products, piece by piece, patiently.
Currently, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is developing after repeated training and practice of the selected village artisans. The statement elements are being made by hand by training artisans in three villages, with the freedom given to every artisan to unleash their creativity. To preserve India’s heritage dexterities, the team works round the clock to motivate every artisan (new and old) at the bottom of the pyramid for social and economic development. Vanvasi Project India is trying to unveil the (craft), and creativity hidden away in the villages of India. The project will be a worthy initiative by exponentially working hard and reviving the artistic heritage.