The story about Raghurajpur @ DoRight.in could not come at a better time. Believe it or not- I was just dabbling with a similar idea with one of my close friends of resurrecting a dying art of handicraft of our state through help of technology.
My friend narrated me a story about one of his close acquaintances from school days - some 25 years back. It revolved around how difficult it was, financially, to rent out a gallery in those days to display handicraft and art items from wood, brass and other different materials - with fine grained artistry. Though the skill and dexterity behind those fine pieces of art form ran in his family and they did not know any other means of livelihood, it was increasingly becoming difficult for them to sustain the occupation against the threat and competition from their more opulent, easily available but with less artistic cousins. His sole intention to come to city was to connect with a larger customer base which was not being possible staying there in the village and his failure was hitting the family and the village hard. They were at the brink of accepting menial work leaving behind this great form of art in the face of hardship and other challenges of basic amenities.
That story, then, and today’s story of Raghurajpur, near Puri, Odisha , similar in nature, evoke a sense of failure on the part of our society as a whole - how we are failing to protect and survive these rare capabilities which, at one point of time, used to be a significant differentiation of our country.
The above picture says it all – how involved and the intense the work is. After all these, there cannot be worse irony if they get cheated by middleman or don’t find buyers in time. The video here clearly brings out the sordid state of the affairs at Raghurajpur where the clan is trying to make their ends meet in an honest and just way.
I commend this initiative of DoRight.in, as a first step, to come up with a website for creating a worldwide awareness about this heritage art form and the village. It will surely drive up the demand for these and will directly connect the artists with their customers-worldwide.
Having done my part to support the cause to the best of my abilities, I take this opportunity to request all my friends and all of you reading this story to do your bit here towards supporting the initiative.
Additionally, may I request all to remember to spread this message, at the minimum, by sharing this post in your networks or tweet about it ?
Every bit of help from all of us will go a long way in shaping the lives of many - a village community altogether. Let’s join hands to do something better.
Moreover, I plan to offer my services - drawn from experiences in my profession, to help taking this whole initiative to the next level where it can be transformed to a self-sustaining business model - run and managed like a well-oiled private organization. With bit of planning on training the villagers, hosting and storage capacity , monthly maintenance model, logistics, e-commerce and above all marketing through social media and other channels , the initiative would transport the village to a world of happy customers in a perpetual basis. Doing it right the first time will result into having a happy customer returning back multiple times.