UTHHAN: A MOBILE APPLICATION FOR EMPOWERING INDIAN ARTISANS
Bhubaneswar, 3rd December,2019: It has been detected that the value of an artisan product depends on the way of presentation apart from quality. However, over the years, these traditional art forms and handicrafts lost their demand in the market. The irony is that artisans have taken up alternative means to support their families. Artisans are underprivileged in India and there are many challenges faced by them. Their ignorance about the emerging ways of online marketing added to their misery. The majority of skilled artisans stopped making unique products, which was a source of livelihood for them in the past.
Started in 2012 to encourage direct sourcing, UTHHAN eliminates middlemen and thus increases income for artisans. As a social impact venture, UTHHAN provides not just an online marketplace but also supports rural artisans through a strong supply chain and consumer-centric marketing. Artisans can download this mobile application for free and register themselves. Once the enrollment is completed artisans can upload the products with their price. Application helps them to track their order, sales of the products and payments.
“ Many artisan families are still struggling. These families were unaware of operating a mobile phone. We wanted to do something which could benefit the larger masses and wanted the products to create a sustainable impact and created UTHHAN web application in 2012, which showcased artisan products without any charges. The products created an amazing global reach. The popularity of UTHHAN among artisans increased within a small period. The major challenge was to create awareness about UTHHAN among artisans. It was a difficult task to make them understand the process since it was online. Artisan families were unaware of operating a mobile phone. We trained them and slogged for almost 1.5 years to gain the trust from an initial batch of artisans. We understood deeply about the process and created a multi-language mobile application for artisans in 2017”, told by Leemon Ravi (Founder and National Coordinator, UTHHAN)
“ A small village called, Pipli situated in Odisha, have not only lost their living, but the passion to create marvels out of terracotta during cyclone Fani. They are not aware of any government support. They are struggling to feed their families now. This is the same condition of artisans in about 670+ villages across Odisha. The narrow roads, roofless shed, the stinking water covered roads, and poor living standards made the life of the artisans vulnerable. The conditions of artisan families in Odisha are worsened after the FANI cyclone. The factory sheds of artisans were blown away in cyclone leaving them to struggle for their livelihood. The artisan was stuck with poverty and hunger without a roof on their heads. Although sadly the poverty here is slowly making many craftsmen disappear from the place to form a new livelihood, they are doing a remarkable job by keeping this fascinating art alive even while their financial crisis makes it very hard for them to continue and preserve the art. The goal of UTHHAN is to make these art forms available to customers directly from these families thereby empowering them” As told by AMBIT MISHRA ( Uthhan State Coordinator- Odisha)
“Uthhan means empowerment. Since we are upgrading these underprivileged artisans this name is finalized. UTHHAN – Empowering artisans is the first initiative in India where profit from artefact sales goes directly to the artisan families without any middlemen. We chose the name Uthhan, which means “Racing towards the top position from a downtrodden condition”. Our logo represents 5 different colors with each color having a head and 2 hands holding each other. The colour represents the main artisan communities as per their skills. They are all holding each other to empower the artisans. The punch line is “Empowering Artisans”” as told by Team UTHHAN.
UTHHAN is aiming to reach 50000+ families by 2020. UTHHAN is feeding 10000+ artisan families as of now with presence in Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP , Delhi ably supported by 200+ Volunteers.
You can visit uthhan.org to be a part of this initiative!!!