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The 'Beautiful Hands' video series journeys into the City of Joy, Kolkata which is home to the Ritu Kumar brand. The films portrays the soul of the company - its techniques, processes and people who work behind the scenes to create each design. It is also an ode to the craftsmen and their ancestors who have been meshed with the fabric of our society and families for generations.

RITU KUMAR has been working in the hinterlands of Kolkata from the mid-1960's with various sections of craftsmen:

The weaving districts of Phulia and Shantipur - home to the Tangail and Jaamdaani cotton woven saris of Bengal, which use fine hand-combed cotton of a gossamer quality with interesting woven paars or borders to create what are known as the Woven dreams of Bengal. The villages encompass an area as big as a small state in the country.

The Embroidery districts en-route to the Kolkata highway which stretch for an approximate 60 mile square area in the hinterland, with the villages of Ranihati and Uluberia as their hub. This district has been home to highly skilled hand-embroidery craftsmen, who perhaps had patronage from the Nawabs of Bengal, and also from the erstwhile kingdom of Avadh. The craftsmen were originally associated with the Sultanate courts where gold taar embroidery was popular to make Khilats and women's ornamented costumes.

The village of Metiabruz - This entire court of Wajid Ali Shah was exiled from Lucknow and was re-stationed in Metiabruz on the outskirts of Kolkata by the British. The area has become the hub today of the most intricate tailoring, and the centre of supply of the same ready-made garments in the non-organized sector in India. The patronage to the tailors was furthur extended by the British inhabitants living in Kolkata adding to the repertoire of European fashion tailoring.

The village and city of Serampur and Chandernagar, originally a Dutch and French colony on the banks of the river Ganges. The centres were situated to facilitate textile export of the organic silk produced from Murshidabad and Bhagalpur, both areas in the hinterland of the Ganges basin.

The films showcase the rich heritage and legacy of the brand. Ritu Kumar products keeps the traditions of high value hand-craftsmanship alive. It is a story of India’s past becoming its present and we want to take pride in its future.

Filmed & Directed by: Chintan Gohil

Produced by: Amrish Kumar for Mummy Daddy Media Pvt Ltd.

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Gramin Vikas Hastkala

GRAMIN HASTKALA VIKAS SAMITI” (GHVS) is a voluntary non-profit non-government organization (NGO) working in the craft sector for welfare of craft persons and development of Handicraft and Handloom sector since 1993, based in Agra (India). Having more than 2500 craftsmen working under it. Main activities of Gramin Hastkala Vikas Samiti

1. Organize Trade Fairs / Exhibitions all over India.
2. Providing Platform for marketing to the crafts persons / weavers / artisan / entrepreneurs by promoting their crafts and products through organizing exhibition and trade fairs in metro cities in India.
3. A one – stop shop for India’s largest verity of handicrafts and handloom.
4. Availability of low cost, traditional and custom made design under one roof.
5. The place to find craft person and artisan from all over India and their master creations.
6. More than 2500 craftsmen working under GHVS.
7. Helping both crafts person as well as customer in both hands at one place one gets market, platform with other get verity products at reasonable price.
8. Crafts demonstrating and display by award winning crafts persons from all over India and their master creation.
To support and know more, visit: http://www.craftsofindia.org

Craft Revival Trust

It is a part of movement working towards the revitalisation of Indian crafts. A registered voluntary, non-profit organisation it is committed to supporting and sustaining the development of extraordinary variety of the crafts and textiles in India, as well as our artisanal resources. To support and know more, visit: http://www.craftrevival.org

Crafts Council of India

The Crafts Council of India (CCI) was founded in 1964 by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay as one of her pioneering efforts toward protecting and enhancing India’s heritage in the nation’s transition to modernity. Inspired by the commitment of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore to hand production as a catalyst for political and social emancipation, as well as her experience with national efforts at craft regeneration since Independence, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay felt the need for mobilizing public awareness and action. For this, she brought together a band of volunteers in CCI to help build a lasting awareness of the knowledge and skills of India’s artisans, and to help address their needs within a rapidly changing environment. It is with the purpose of protecting this identity, that the CCI was established. The CCI is a registered not for profit Society head-quartered in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Regional and local efforts were encouraged, particularly through the founding of Crafts Councils in different States. Today CCI works together with a network of 9 State councils.

To support and know more, visit: http://craftscouncilofindia.org

Sasha Association for Craft Producers

Sasha is a not-for-profit fair trade marketing outlet for more than a hundred groups of craftspersons and producers from all India. Registered in Kolkata, Sasha also involves itself in the formative stages of craft groups. Sasha works with these groups to revive crafts and develop new designs and techniques. Sasha works with around 100 groups of which 70 are core groups of disadvantaged women and marginalised producers from rural and semi-urban areas of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and other states, and a further 30 groups are associated intermittently. Sasha focuses design and training efforts on new producers, as the more established producers have a greater capacity to work autonomously. Nearly 80% of producers are women, and producers in Orissa are tribal peoples. Producer group structure varies from co-operatives to self-help groups (set up by other agencies) to small entrepreneurs.

To support and know more, visit: http://www.sashaworld.com close