Corona locked out artisans of their livelihoods. They needed unusual solutions and the united efforts of the government, craft organisations and consumers for helping them overcome the losses that occurred during the lockdown.

Currently, an exhibition cum sales event is organised at DB Mall, Bhopal for helping local artisans to regain their lost confidence. For this, NABARD granted some stalls to handicraft and handloom artisans for free of cost. Because according to the artisans Diwali is the last ray of hope for them this year. But will it be efficiently impactful?

‘People are still afraid of the virus because of which sales have been effected badly’ says Warish Khan, creator of beautiful Maheshwari Sarees. He further added, ‘we hoped that Navratri season will lighten up the market but it failed badly. Due to lockdown, our orders were cancelled and the whole Maheshwar has approximately 15 crores worth of stock left. Because of which we can’t make new products, so for clearing the stock we are ready to sell our product on a very low-profit margin.’

Ruchi Shah, leader of a Self Help Group at Dewas said, ‘Usually, Diwali used to be the most profitable and happening festival for us but corona has changed everything upside-down. People are having multiple thoughts on buying products made outside and sold in an open market because of the virus.’ She further talks about her struggle and said, ‘during the lockdown period, my entire work was on halt and my husband lost his job too. Because of which, my 75 years old father-in-law had to work for running the household. We all were heartbroken and now I just hope that Diwali will help us a bit in getting back on track.’

Javed Ansari, a Chanderi Saree Weaver says ‘Sale is average because people are afraid of touching the products and crowd is not even coming down near the stalls.’ He also talked about how he shifted to online methods for selling his products. He said, ‘We were not getting any opportunity of selling products offline during the lockdown so I tried getting in touch with the consumers and wholesalers online. Through that, I got new projects and successfully delivered my orders.’Javed Ansari, a Chanderi Saree Weaver says ‘Sale is average because people are afraid of touching the products and crowd is not even coming down near the stalls.’ He also talked about how he shifted to online methods for selling his products. He said, ‘We were not getting any opportunity of selling products offline during the lockdown so I tried getting in touch with the consumers and wholesalers online. Through that, I got new projects and successfully delivered my orders.’

“Shopping has always been an attractive part of Festivals, where you get the best experience of regional culture and local ecofriendly products. So, this Diwali when you go out for shopping, do visit the stalls of our local artisans, who wait for Diwali and your attention throughout the year. They have a wide range of products with unique design and traditional theme.

Every single artisan of the country putting their creative efforts day and night and their passion for making the attractive item reflect in their products. Their hard work needs to be paid by us. Definitely, our every purchase will spark the flame of Diwali Diyas in their homes too.