DWARAKA Foundation supports women's initiative for marketing in DWARAKA Plus
DWARAKA is proud to have established not only a stable market for the rural women artisans, but also to have opened up the doors nationwide to a disappearing art form. It was only after establishing the DWARAKA platform and opening up exclusive showrooms for hand-painted Kalamkari products including gifts, clothes, home décor, etc. did the artists of Srikalahasti find new hope in the art revival movement.
Peoples Livelihoods Upliftment Society
DWARAKA PLUS, a registered Society, and an initiative of DRRT, created opportunities supporting many destitute and poor women from villages that have little means for alternative livelihoods. Registered in 2009, as a Society of the rural artisans who were given the mandate of owning and managing the entire spectrum of hand-painted Kalamkari art, including raw material outsourcing, design to production and marketing. Administration and management teams from Bangalore support them in several areas of operations to equip them with knowledge and confidence to handle day to day activities and formulate approaches for the global reach of Kalamkari designs and products in domestic and international markets.
The women of DWARAKA PLUS have organized themselves into committees and groups that take responsibility for the entire process of hand-painted Kalamkari art. This includes groups of young women who manage materials and procurement, natural vegetable dyes mixing and distribution, design, processes, quality control and monitoring, and delivery for the final stage of a production cycle or schedule.
The old and the experienced artisans mentor the new artisans, execute the sketching, writing and coloring of the art. Undoubtedly, the process of enabling and empowering in DWARAKA PLUS has facilitated processes that make the women economically independent, socially aware, culturally vibrant and the pillars of their communities.Today, the impact of DWARAKA’s efforts has touched hundreds of lives, and a revival movement is rapidly spreading.
A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER MR.DWARAKNATH REDDY AT THE CELEBRATIONS FOR THE OPENING OF AN EXCLUSIVE SHOWROOM ON APRIL 14TH, 2001 FOR HAND PAINTED KALAMKARI ART AND PRODUCTS, THE FIRST ONE OF ITS KIND IN INDIA.
DWARAKA supports DWARAKA Plus in promoting hand painted Kalamkari products which are painted using eco-friendly colors. Authentic kalamkari products can be be shopped on DWARAKA Plus social media pages. Every purchase made contributes to the economic development of an artist.
DWARAKA ensured that no artist who was in need was left behind even if they were not directly linked to the organization. In the initial years, over 325 identified Kalamkari artisans that were on the verge of closing down their units and moving to other trade found a new lease of life and marketed their art through DWARAKA platform.
In Dwaraka PLUS, even illiterate, ignorant or neglected women have been exposed to direct market interventions by selling their products to an elite clientele in the stores or exhibitions organized across the nation - Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, to the rich works of art of those who were otherwise anonymous to the world. This was no ordinary art, but one that was steeped in culture and was backed by a 500 year old heritage.
Today after DWARAKA’s efforts to create a sustainable livelihoods model especially empowering women, over 3000 artisans have begun to flourish independently from in and around Srikalahasthi region in India.
Linkages with stores such as Fab India, Cane and Bamboo in Chennai, or resorts like Orange County in Coorg and hotels like Ebony or Taj, has been a sustaining factor in DWARAKA’s marketing strategies. Successful execution of conference orders, corporate gifting orders, wedding events (invites, gifting), etc. add to the turnover of the organization.
An important part of DWARAKA’s marketing strategy, was to build partnership with organizations like AIACA (All India Artisans and Craft workers Welfare Association),that have helped DWARAKA get a sustained export market. For instance, DWARAKA exported to Ten Thousand Villages, ( a reputed retail chain store across the USA ) and exclusive hand-painted journals to Barnes and Nobles and DWARAKA continues to export to different parts of the world.
An exclusive participation in the International Sante Fe Art Market in USA was indeed a feather in the hat for the rural women artisans of DWARAKA. DWARAKA has also worked with a large number of Non-Resident Indians, who in turn have become ambassadors of it abroad. But sustained orders from local Indian patrons like Rekha Kapoor have been motivating for the DWARAKA team.
Winning the UNESCO Seal of Excellence twice in international platforms was indeed the moment of glory for DWARAKA.
DWARAKA has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award for AP / TS Crafts Council and the World is One Community Global Impact Award 2019 from IFAM ( International Folk Art Market ) Santa Fe.
DWARAKA ART ADORNS INTERIORS IN DIFFERENT SETTINGS
DWARAKA PLUS Executive Committee Members
Glory Esther Rani
Bhagya Jyothi Mary