‘A Hundred Hands’
brings home the realisation, that the beauty and sense of satisfaction that we get in anything handmade
is unparalleled. And we are lucky that we come from centuries of this tradition
. Our independence is also a witness to this phenomenal movement of the charakha where we went back to khadi and handspun. Today we are at the crossroads where we have to choose between handmade and a product of the machine. It is a conscious choice we make to empower our economy and our artisans. The Dhawan sisters, Ms. Mala Dhawan and Dr. Sonia Dhawan
started the NGO ‘A Hundred Hands
’ seven years ago with just this intention. To empower the unknown karigar
and help him create a brand and identity for himself. Having started as an annual bazaar in their garden, it has now over 100 artisans as members with a wait list of another 200. In a candid talk with Ms. Mala Dhawan, she speaks of the need to scale up with corporate funding. Not taking any commission for themselves, it is a tough journey. It is rare to find such generosity of spirit, especially when the years of work is paying off and the annual collective is a big hit among patrons and consumers. Though they belong to neither the NGO nor the Design world, they are determined to make a difference. And this love that they have for ‘A Hundred Hands’
is seeing them through the many hurdles they have come across. I have been following their initiatives for quite some time now and am mighty impressed with not just their zeal but also the results in terms of the innovation and creativity that they are helping foster among the artisans.