India is a country that is rich with its cultural values and heritage arts and artistic people. These artists have precision and talent. Even though the craft of Indian artists is admired by millions of people across the globe the work is devalued which leads to financial instability.
UTHHAN is one such platform that aims to give the recognition and the deserved value to such talented artists of India.
Leemon Ravi, Founder and national coordinator of Uthhan started the journey with an idea to muster the courage of the younger generation of artisan communities who are reluctant to take up the tradition because of lack of financial stability and job respect.
UTHHAN started in June 2012, started working towards business models and ideas in developing the platform.
Speaking about the initial struggle of Uthhan, Leemon Ravi said, “There are so many incidents which are we came across. I had been to Wayanad. I went there without any hope thinking that the tribal artisans don’t have any knowledge about online selling and therefore explaining UTHHAN won’t be fruitful. I was surprised to see that many of the tribal youths were aware of online selling and they have supported UTHHAN passionately.
“The crowd was amazing with local volunteers. This was my first major enrolment drive with almost 500+ artisans joining the initiative. The major challenge was to create awareness about Uthhan among artisans. It was a herculean task to make them understand the process since it was online. Many of the families were unaware of operating online and we had to train them.
The idea behind Uthhan was to create some change in the existing order and benefit a larger mass. After 6 months of brainstorming, they reached a conclusion that; artisan empowerment can be achieved if the artisans learn about the importance of Unification and systematic financial earning.
“Today we slogged for almost 1.5 years to gain the trust from the initial batch of artisans. Now we have coordinators and volunteers in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi, UP, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, Ravi added.
“We launched our web application in 2012 and seeing the demand and response from the artisans we launched our multiple language mobile application in 2017. We are currently feeding 10000 + artisans’ families as of now. We are planning to reach 50000+ artisan families by the end of Nov 2019. We are aiming to set up industrial sheds for bulk manufacturing and physical UTHHAN outlets across major cities of India.” said Chytra Rai (Branding and Awareness Head, UTHHAN).
Uthhan works towards dealing with the problems among the artisans and give them minimum revenue for their survival. It educates them about the price and customized design idea along with training about market conditions. We had conducted training camps for them and worked with colleges to educate them about the importance of CSR activity, Chytra added.