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This Paper Investigates How The Reforms Of 1991 Have Helped The Indian Handicraft Industry. It Also Provides A Roadmap For Future Consideration.

3056 words - 12 pages

The Liberal Artisan in the Global VillageMiss Universe Australia- Jennifer Hawking ran away with the coveted beauty title in a brocade gown; a $25,000 gold creation by Sydney designer Bora at the grand finale; the gown was all Zari, Rs 45 a meter, with value addition and made in our very own Gurgaon. Now that's globalisation!Is the handicrafts sector in India going down the path of no survival? I started this paper with this question as our principal query. This paper intends to investigate if Globalisation has impeded or helped the growth of the handicrafts industry; using a case study to analyze organizational, market and social changes over a specified period of time i.e. Pre and post liberalisation in India.India ushered in economic liberalisation in 1991 .It is popular perception that liberalisation has affected the informal handicraft sector adversely; this however I found out has not been the case. Our methodology involved a four-pronged analysis of the handicrafts sector. I sought to understand what exactly constitutes the definition of a handicraft wherefrom I investigated how the demand for these products has changed, what the governments take is, what the reality of the artisans involved with inputs from 'designers' and finally export house opinion as Ill.I chose to limit our data set from the 60s to 2004, which I felt reflects a sufficient period to monitor the impact of globalisation on this sector in terms of the time before the 91 reforms and post the 91 reforms.HistoryIn November 1952, the government of India set up the "All India Handicrafts Board" (AIHB) to channelise the talent of the sector that till today employs the second largest labour next only to agriculture. Today the IAHB has been taken over by the Handicrafts Ministry a division of textiles; it claims to promote Development, Research and Promotion.The Handicrafts Sector: A-would-be-Industry?Handicrafts do wonderful things for an economy. The employ large numbers of people, require little money to be invested initially, require lesser processing, bring in foreign exchange and are much in demand in the host country and abroad as well.The handicraft sector is what is called a small-scale industry. In India in particular, the production of handicrafts is split over several pockets of regional production. The decentralization makes it difficult to estimate the size of the sector, which still remains largely informal. Its only contribution, which in itself is quite sizeable, is to the export sector."Handicrafts are handmade manufactures produced with the application of mainly human energy, with none or minimal aid of mechanical devices." So says, Mr Asthana of EPCH.A World Bank study (2002) estimates that the Indian handicrafts sector employs 9 million people (most of them are from the weaker sections of society) and contributes up to US$ 4 billion to the domestic revenue of this country.WHERE DO HANDICRAFTS COME FROM?Handicrafts are not the pride of developing countries...

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