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Luxury is finding new addresses to homes of village artisans through Vanvasi Project India

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Villages of India have been the crucial buffers between cities where modern technology and facilities penetrate much later than in urban areas. The spending capacity comes from earnings which are by sale proceeds of agricultural crops and allied products in a local mandi with multiple mediators facilitating the male farmers. Uttar Pradesh ( UP ) which was once upon a time called a beemaru state is developing like no other with bold interventions . The man who is seen transforming the creative grassroots with his young energy is worthwhile noting. Architect Rishabh Sachan fondly called Mr.Rishu is working in making native villagers, specifically women, transform into master artists in their homes itself. Women artisans can only work before the sunset as they don’t have access to electricity. The constraints are many. Rishabh Sachan led the slow transformation which has already been executed in villages of Barouli, Aroul, Dharamshala, Saraiya, Badhaiya Kheda in state of Uttar Pradesh with management strategies in the most constructive manner. 

Rishabh is commonly called Rishu Bhaiya by the teams in villages and city. He is searched as soon as a colour check and coordination is required. He looks after the designs and artisans interest in making a particular product that engages the emotional retina of the women too.  The exceptional point in Rishu’s case of work is that his startup Vanvasi Project India is not following the standard operating top to down procedures commonly followed by large companies and organisations like that of government and World Bank with lots of resources. With no money in his pocket to pay extra and burn to hire high profile consultants, he makes his way through frugal innovation in mastering human resources in his small team. He had completed his management degree after pursuing architecture. 

Village economy in India has always left a dent in the GDP of India. Dakshita Das helped with various suggestions to the founders when they were just starting with village Khurrampur. Dakshita Das referred to the idea to employ urban poor in tailoring. She showed her tea cosies done by the same process. End to end recycling, and mentioned that mixing chikan embroideries with Zari work takes away the authenticity. Connecting the maker and the right consumer was even a difficult task for the government. Different policies at different time periods under different bureaucrats came with a top to down model of approach with the same fate of failing. Rishabh Sachan says, the time we live in and spend our comforts is totally different – we are transforming ourselves physiologically and psychologically. The idea of working more and earning more is still the same but people who are earning more are not sure “ if they are more happy too”. The lifestyles and inclinations in the concrete world have added layers of transparent stress in the lives of urban class, says Rishabh. 

Village folks on the other hand, earn less but are more relaxed and content with their daily lifestyle. Rural marketing is touching new depths with different approaches of practical application by Rishabh’s practical expertise with Vanvasi Project India.  The source from which they get messages is an important element. The use of likeable source to communicate the message to come and learn new skills like that of embroidery, increases its acceptance among the target audience. Trustworthy source begins its actions with word of mouth communication working to a large extent in rural environments. 

Alka Katiyar shares that, it was Dr. Navina Jafa, Fulbright scholar of Smithsonian with expertise in cultural management gave the idea to execute cultural skill mapping in villages of Hardoi. Navina Jafa shared that the village represents the backbone repository of Indian Cultural skills. Yet, in the situation of skill deficit, empowering women with new skills, like Vanvasi Project India has done, illustrates the bottom-up approach to development. Vanvasi’s activities are proof that villager’s use a source that they can trust, these are generally friends, relatives, neighbours, etc. Expert source are present in every village home, they influence decisions that happen in a joint rural family. Practical implication of strong opinions from them came up in village Barouli as a case study. An old man, father in law, who was the senior most in a joint rural family, himself came to the Vanvasi team leader and enquired for getting some embroidery work for his four daughter in laws in the family. In villages, there is strict limitation to behave in a certain manner. So, it is difficult for rural women to find their voices and project them. 

The idea of India and swadeshi is dated and periodic. To sustain strong business models, localisation is the key. Rishabh explain his teams in villages who are embroidering on Khadi, that there is way in which they can earn the entire year. All they have to do is learn new skills and perform their skills bringing exceptional craft techniques in final products. Rishabh says, it’s a different behavioural pattern which needs to be created by motivating people on a time to time basis to bring an impact to develop businesses and their daily lives altogether . Team tells with their experiences on the field that there is a strong need of a communicating channel with villagers that could explain difference in ideas on perceived versus reality. The point when rural women start utilising their own aptitude and design sensibility, creativity comes down on the fabric. It works extensively well . Sometimes confusion leads them to be more creative . Earlier their mindset was driven on the requirements and orders of the trader and the mediator. Village artisans who were mostly women said, we thought the trader is the guy who knows everything about the market, so we should not use our brain.Embroidering dreams create a motivation that would lead to stop migration, empower women inside their houses, generate trust, design a bottom to top approach, leading to ultimately add value to the life of village women.


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