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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Shrujan in Bhuj- reviving 'living arts' of Kutch.

our exploring the alternate world in Kutch started with Shrujan in Bhuj. 
Shrujan was started by 92 year young Kanti Bhai Shroff (affectionately called Kaka) who was, till a few years back, running a successful agri-chemicals manufacturing industry. 
yes, he had been a big player in the agro chemicals but has been working with the tribals and artisans to revive the various culture, art n craft of the Bhuj region.
An artist himself, he lives, dines and sleeps in a circular one-room mud construct which moderates the temperature in drought prone Kutch with extremes of heat and cold.  for someone to have made millions in his business to scale down his life style like this and lead a simple life itself is credible (how ever contestable the business could have been!)
Kaka and his wife Chandan Shroff, interested in supporting and providing livelihoods for the artisans of the 14 “living arts” of Kutch, motivated artisans in 110 villages and help market their produce to discerning customers through melas, exhibitions and outlets in Kutch, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Its referred to as “Living art” because these are not some dying or dead art which is being revived but in-vogue arts done for themselves (like the bright and pretty embroidered skirts of the tribal women and in the interiors of their mud house walls).

There are 16 different kinds of elaborate embroidery which women of different communities of Kutch specialize in. Shrujan’s  production team (who are more in tune with urban tastes) prints designs on fabric and dresses and provides the artists with a bunch of coloured thread for embroidery. In their own words “these are some of the most skilled and creative craftswomen in the world whose exquisite hand embroidery speaks of the mystery and magic of Kutch”.

more about them here: