Organization - The Crafts Council of India

The Crafts Council of India
Basic Information
English The Crafts Council of India
Local language
Country India
Category General NGO
Domain Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Documentation
Education and Training
Established year 1964
  • 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.

The Crafts Council of India (CCI) was founded in 1964 by Smt. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay as one of her pioneering efforts towards 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 registered not for profit Society head-quartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Regional and local efforts were encouraged, particularly through the founding of Crafts Councils in different States. Today, CCI works together with a network of 10 State councils.

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 are the hallmark of CCI’s work.

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.

Major Activities

Major activities:

  • 1981 – Conducted an all India workshop for terracotta artisans in Chennai
  • 1982 – Conducted an all India basketry workshop in Chennai
  • 1992 – Documentation of Utility Stone Crafts of India
  • 1992- Conducted workshops for artisans in product design in making wooden combs
  • 2004-7- Technology upgradation for 300 stone artisans in Chennai, Pondicherry, Bagru, Agra, Bhubaneshwar and Puri
  • 2005-2017 – opened the Kamala craft outlets in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai
  • 2005 – Mans the South Asia stall at the Santa Fe Folk Art Mart
  • 2006 –  International Natural Dyes Symposium with UNESCO in Hyderabad
  • 2010 – Natural Dye workshops fornatural fiber artisans.
  • 2007 – Instituted the Educate to Sustain program for children of traditional artisans. A small stipend is being given to 280 children in three clusters in the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Tamil Nadu to encourage them to learn the traditional hand skills of their parents
  • 2010 – Conducted the Craft Economics and Impact Study in two pilots.

This resulted in talks with Planning Commission, Central Statistical Organization and the decision of CSO to include handlooms and Handicrafts in the next Economic Census 2012 as economic activities.

CCI is constantly working towards better markets for artisans in order to ensure that handicraft production can be a sustainable livelihood for them. This is done by organizing bazaars, exchange programs and selling opportunities in other countries.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address The Crafts Council of India GF Temple Trees, 37, Venkatanarayana Road, T. Nagar, Chennai – 600017 India
Tel +91 -44 -24341456

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