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Problems faced by Dhokra Artisans

Unique feature of ‘Dokra’ art is that no two pieces are identical, reason lies in the fact that each piece is hand- made and hence, is distinct. This art form is widely appreciated and is wooing art lovers across the globe.
But they miss out on having exposure to the change in trends, marketing hence over the years have not been able to achieve a stable position.

They face numerous problems right from procuring raw materials to selling the finished product. These are:

1. The Dokra Kamaras suffer from poverty, mal -nutrition, and sanitation. High instance of liquor addiction is prevalent. Illiteracy is also a major reason of their state.

2. The increasing price of raw material is forcing the dokra artisans to be less interested in creating these articles with same vigour.
3. Rising price of the end product is attracting less buyers which is a disappointing matter for these artisans.
4. Lack of knowledge about the new designs that are being experimented all over the world, lack of inspiration to work with something new, lack of encouragement to work with innovative ideas are great hindrance to adapting modernizations and keeping pace with contemporary demand.
5. Dokra crafts, which are produced with traditional skill, are under threat of steep decline because of competition from the cheaper machine made local substitutes and imports, which give greater uniformity and better finish.

6. All weather shade is not there. During monsoon it becomes difficult for them to work.
7. The majority of artisans are not aware about various new schemes like loan at minimum rates, free tools and chemical, work shed-cum-housing facilities etc provided by government and NGOs.
Illiteracy often makes them more vulnerable.
8. Like most traditional crafts people, the dokra artisans of Bikna and Dariapur have no formal system of apprenticeship. Craft training as such does not exist.
9. Following the same primitive techniques and having no access to modern technology and
infrastructure, is causing a delay in production which is unmatched with this fast moving age.
10. Dokra artisans mostly use traditional furnace.

The study shows that Dokra artisans face several problems in marketing. In view of shortage of financial resources, advertising publicity cannot be undertaken by artisans. Absence of systematic marketing network has been a discouraging factor in this sector. Hence it is suggested that the government required to play a vital role in solving the marketing problems faced by the artisans. Voluntary associations also need to put sincere effort for the better working condition of the dokra artisans. Care should be taken to ensure that with innovation originality of the craft is truly maintained. The artisans could be taught to innovate and improvise, use better tools and better raw materials. Innovative techniques can be taught to the workers through government sponsored programmes. Care should also be taken to popularize crafts in home markets creating awareness among the home consumers.

Hopefully happy times lie ahead for Dokra crafts and artisans can look forward to a bright future.

 

Source: IRJIMS

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