Mr. Mahesh Gulati, National expert, UNIDO Chanderi spent an afternoon at the Craft Revival Trust office telling us about his work to develop the Chanderi Craft cluster since 2003.
While the application and successful allocation of the GI for Chanderi is a major step in protecting the craft and its identity and is a useful tool for marketing, authenticating the Chanderi brand, Mr. Gulati has been working towards the upliftment of the craft and the craftspeople on many levels. On his arrival at Chanderi, he conducted a SWAT analysis, identified and developed an action plan with the involvement of the stakeholders – 10,000 families are involved in the textile production at Chanderi and there are 3659 looms in use. The action plan included among others - cluster mapping and developing a database, micro-finance schemes and economic development, social development and vision building (there are 60 self-help groups today in Chanderi), technical and product upgradation, marketing and sourcing new markets.
What will make Mr. Gulati’s intervention last in the long term is that from the start he involved the local stake holders. He established the Chanderi Development Foundation comprising of 11 representatives from all the communities involved in the Chanderi textile, from weavers to traders, women to yarn manufactures. This ensures that after his transfer in June 2006, the work he has done at Chanderi will continue.
Mr. Gulati categorically stated that it is very d...