Startups To The Rescue Of Diminishing Heritage

India has been the go-to tourist destination: scenic views, spicy and flavourful food, or aesthetic art and craft. Behind every piece of art lies a hundred unspoken words. Artefacts act as a gateway to understanding an individual's beliefs, feelings, traits, and culture or society. There are many things that one can learn by simply observing and understanding the arts and crafts of that society. With a rich history in heritage, art and craft play a massive role in India's economy.

However, Indian artisans have faced several issues continuing their heritage of making art and have been victims of financial insecurity, lack of digital awareness, higher cost of production and fewer opportunities in the market. Since industrialization, artisans have started losing out on business. This, coupled with the consumer's growing needs, low-income rate, absence of marketplace, and a lack of raw materials, further adds to their woes. A recent UN report states that over 30 years, the number of artisans in India has dropped by 30 percent.

According to a study by Development Commissioner Handicrafts, at present, only seven million handicraft artisans can earn a livelihood through handicrafts. This is indeed a significant drop, considering the Indian market is enormous and extensive.

These statistics depict the dire need for assistance across levels in the handicraft community. All artisans seek is re-investment and relevant opportunities to safeguard their cultural heritage, history, and source of livelihood.

But that changed with the wave of startups that washed India with gold dust. Startups have recognized this challenge for the handicrafts sector and are helping to uplift the market and the community. Startups understand the various challenges faced by the artisans and focus on building tailor-made solutions that help boost their morale and enhance the operations of businesses. Digitisation is helping small handicrafts businesses to expand their footprints and foray into the global markets. However, startups are providing artisans with the requisite assistance and technology to survive and thrive in the present times.

This edition is a honorary mention of those startups who trusted in the country's art & culture, and decided to do something.