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Craft as a Route to Self-Reliance

Craft, Handloom, Art, Interviews, Conversations, Livelihoods, Safeguarding, Endangered

Craft as a Route to Self-Reliance: An Interview with Ashoke Chatterjee

Jongeward, Carolyn

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Ashoke Chatterjee was executive director of National Institute of Design (NID) from 1975-85, Senior Faculty Advisor for Design Management and Communication from 1985 to 1995, and Distinguished Fellow at NID from 1995 until retirement in 2001. He has served for many years as honorary president of the Crafts Council of India and continues to work as a consultant in India and internationally, especially on projects concerned with water management and environmental issues. After more than ten years as international advisor, in 2000 Ashoke Chatterjee joined the board of directors of Aid to Artisans, a US based non-profit organization that offers practical assistance to artisans worldwide. NID in Ahmedabad is internationally recognized as one of the foremost institutions in the field of design education, research and training. In 1975, NID was asked to be involved with the Rural University, a new concept in education and rural development initiated by Professor Ravi Matthai, first director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. Ashoke Chatterjee became part of the Rural University team that worked with people of the Jawaja block, which included about 200 villages with a population of approximately 80,000 people in a drought and flood prone district of Rajasthan. The Jawaja project was an educational experiment-in-action based on the idea that development activities must be a vehicle for learni...

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