In the month of May 2014 Maya Organic had visitors from the Gandhi Fellowship Program. The team of Fellows were visiting several organisations as part of their Learning Journey at the end of their first year fellowship and spent two days with Maya Organic in Channapatna on the 8th and 9th of May.
There were twelve members in the team from different parts of the country like Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Chandigarh. The purpose of the visit was to understand Maya Organic’s work in Channapatna and to interact with the artisans.
Day 1 – At the Maya Organic Center
The team members introduced themselves and stated the purpose of their study tour – to understand the different livelihood models and structures which provide better livelihood opportunities for the lower income groups.
This was followed by a brief introduction about Maya Organic. The team was explained the objectives of the organization, the structure and functioning of the organization and how the program evolved to its current form.
The next session was about the Lacware Handicraft. The team was explained the what and how of the traditional lacware handicraft followed by a walk through of the lacware toy manufacturing process at Maya Organic. The team also had an opportunity to interact with the artisans while observing their work
Day 2 – Visits to other units in Channapatna
During the first half of the second day a visit was organized to see the toy units in other parts of the Channapatna town. This is to help them understand the situation of this handicraft industry and its market.
Visit to Kote – The team visited an area called Kote where most of the toy units are located. This visit was very helpful for the Fellows to see and understand the problems faced by the artisans.
Visit to Neelasandra – The team visited Neelasandra, a village which is 6 km from Channapatna. Unlike the rest of the artisans in Chennapatna who use motor driven lathes, the artisans of Neelasandra have continued with the tradition of using a hand operated lathe called “Patri” and make small wooden beads of various shapes.
The team interacted with the artisans there and observed how small wooden beads are made and coloured using the hand operated lathe
Visit to KSHDC and EPCH Centers– To show the government initiatives for the development of this craft a visit was organized to the Karnataka State Handicraft Development Corporation ( KSHDC) run Lacware facility and to the Channapatana Crafts Park initiated by the Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH). The team interacted with the concerned persons in the departments to understand how these initiatives are helping the craft
At the end of second day, after the completion of the visits, an interactive feedback session was organised to understand if the objective of the visit was met and to respond to queries from the team
Taking a fun break along with some of the artisans and staff at the Maya Organic Center
Posing for a group photo at the end of the two days along with some artisan members and Staff of Maya Organic
For more details about the Gandhi Fellowship Program please visit http://www.gandhifellowship.org/