Skip to main content

Traditional villages of Bengal get their own Folk Art Centres

Since 2013, Government of West Bengal’s Department of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises & Textiles took the initiative of setting up 10 Rural Craft Hubs in West Bengal with the vision of unleashing the potential of the handicraft sector for socio-economic development in the state. 10 Rural Craft Hubs were developed across the state which led to substantial improvement of the targeted outcomes. But, more importantly it led to holistic development and overall happiness amongst the targeted communities.

In 2016, armed with new business linkages, confidence, the traditional artist communities from the Rural Craft Hubs of Sitalpati in Ghughumari, Cooch Behar, Wooden Mask in Kushmandi, Dakshin Dinajpur, Wooden Doll in Natungram, Bardhaman, Dokra in Dariyapur, Bardhaman and Bikna, Bankura and Patachitra in Pingla, Paschim Medinipur. These Folk Art Centres have been built with the support West Bengal Khadi & Village Industries Board on land provided by the community which are now owned and managed by the artists’ collectives. These centers are envisioned as a multipurpose building which on one hand work as a common workspace for the community which doubles up as a space that for display of their artifacts. These are a comprehensive selection of artifacts and vivid information about the origin and evolution of the tradition.

With the arts flourishing, the regions are emerging as destinations of touristic interest. The Folk Art Centers have accommodation facilities for the visitors to stay at a modest price payable to the community. These allow the visitors to be amongst the community and enjoy their traditions in the context of their lifestyle, as the truly living heritages that they are. Guests can appreciate the display along with documentaries on the craft and their making process or spend time browsing through the literature.

These Folk Art Centres may in near future demonstrate best practices for community museums compelling the world to sit up and take notice. For the already happy communities with rejuvenated pride in their own traditions, this will give them further more reasons to rejoice and be proud.


Popular posts from this blog

Entrepreneurship as a Social Movement: Real Life Success Stories

In January 2018, we launched a long-term initiative to give a concerted push to entrepreneurship, including innovative ones, by sharing our knowledge and experience acquired over 17 years as a social enterprise. To begin with, we invited eminent thought leaders and industry experts who shared their experiences with our home-grown young, aspiring entrepreneurs. This ‘International Seminar on Entrepreneurship as a Social Movement: Creating Cultural, Social and Economic Value’ was organized on 5 and 6 January in Kolkata, in partnership with the British Council and the Essex Business School, University of Essex, U.K.The narratives at the conclave veered from personal journeys of Indian entrepreneurs to stories from countries as far as Argentina. The deliberations focused on how skills and innovation, supported by a pragmatic and sensitive socio-economic eco-system, can usher in holistic changes in the development paradigm.At the seminar, we also showcased real life success stories of creat…

Swayangsiddha: Rallying youths to stop human trafficking & child marriage

In an era of fast forgotten news, the headline flew past in a flicker indeed, but it did leave behind a rare trail of courage and inspiration for thousands of girls, if not more, in West Bengal! Meena, a teenager from a non-descript village in the district of South 24 Parganas, was tricked and abducted by a woman she knew through one of her classmates and neighbour. Only days before, Meena, a Class 10 student, was lucky to have attended a session of Swayangsiddha – the awareness drive underway against human trafficking organized by the district police chief at her school. Memories came rushing back and she understood that she would be sold to ‘customers’ waiting in cities like New Delhi or Mumbai, if not any other faraway land. But Meena decided not to give in and realized that keeping her cool was the topmost priority at the moment. As her abductor and her associates tried to figure out her reaction and response at the shelter where she was kept at in Baruipur, a bustling town in he…

West Bengal to Washington: Connecting Young Hearts & Minds

Understanding and sharing are the fundamentals for any stable, caring relationship. It holds true even for communities having different mindsets, cultural moorings and socio-economic profiles. An interesting experiment in this context came to an end recently. It involved youths from the United States and the state of West Bengal in India. The participants had diverse backgrounds, varied interests and different aspirations. While some came from marginalized rural families, some had modest to well-to-do backgrounds, often with an upbringing in urban milieus. But, in spite of all their differences, they came together to share stories about their likes, dislikes, passion, profession, roots, aspirations and perceptions, and ended up as more humane and sensitive souls, if not friends!
The aim of the Communities Connecting Heritage (CCH) program was to promote cultural diversity and boost cultural sustainability through cultural exchange. It was supported by the U.S. Department of State and a…