Project Name – Women Artisans Project (WAP)
Artisan – 400 Women
Product Info – Home décor, Kitchen Utility, Planters, etc.
State – Maharashtra
Districts – Raigad, Ratnagiri
Raigad : Panvel, Kamothe, Kalamboli, Rodpali, Navde, Vareli, Varedi, Valhe, Dushmi, Kalhe, Savla, Tara
Pen: Turmale. Vadmal Vadi, Chinchgaon, Kharpada
Alibag: Gondhal Pada, Shrigan Wadi, Sahangoti Gav, Sahangoti Vadi
Karjat: Antrat, Dahivali
Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri, Dhopave, Shrgaltali, Chikhali
Raigad and Ratnagiri are famous for their clay/pottery work. Multiple groups of artisans, self helps groups of women work day and night for livelihood. Women have traditionally engaged in the making of clay products.
This clay product is mostly utility products such as pans, cooking pots, stoves, and idols. Around 400 women are involved in the production in multiple villages. Generations of the family are involved in this activity.
Here they do not use molds for even bulk orders. Everything is handmade, maxing clay, making dough, and finishing products, they do not possess a kiln also for baking but do it by fire bursting.
Opportunities: At Raigad, women do not make product other than their traditional design. There is an opportunity to introduce women to modern methods of pottery.
There is an opportunity to connect women to various government schemes to get extended support from various other means.
This will help them to get financial support and technical support to expand their business, enhance product quality, diversification of products.
Challenges: At cluster, the clay used is local clay which can allow for making a specific range of products. The nature and the quality of the product do not allow them to make any innovative products such as candle stands, wall hanging, or jewelry because the products are utility products, they tend to bake the product over the period of usage during cooking.
As much as food is cooked in clay utensils it gets baked over the period. No modern methods are used to make products which result in time consumption, especially for bulk orders and huge bulk orders are noted to cater sometimes.
In the Ratnagiri district, multiple SHGs and women entrepreneurs have small-scale businesses. The Earthenware clay products that are currently produced are Clay Bottle, Clay Kettle, Clay Bowls, Clay Cup, Clay Plate, Clay Utensils, Clay Big/Small Bowl, Clay Glass, wall hanging, fridge magnets, etc.
This cluster is an existing cluster that has a well-established market. The quality of clay and products is ensured. The Earthenware products are environment friendly and have great advantages for health.
Opportunities : Women working in clusters are part of the SHGs however; they do not have an institutional setup as Producer Group (PG).
Since women are trained in the process of making the product and engaged in end-to-end product development, they can easily get exposed to
be an entrepreneur.
Challenges : Convincing women to become active SHG members and form the Producer Group. Women at Ratnagiri has bad experience within SHG, even though there is part of the SHG, they are not active enough to become an entrepreneur and avail of benefits from MSRLM.
The product-related challenge is, Clay products are easy to break a product. There is the availability of storage but a lack of measures to prevent breakage of the product which results in falling into pieces, especially in bulk orders hampers and cost.
Rohini Pawar is a 35-year-old housewife. She has two daughters and both are school-going girls. She has been a housewife since her marriage and before marriage also she had nothing to do. And that’s when a pottery workshop bought her a box of happiness.
Learning something new was always her wish but she couldn’t fulfil it because of her responsibilities. She lost every hope and thought that she is always going to live her life in 4 walls and that’s when this workshop bought a light in her dark room of helplessness.
She lives in a small village named Karade in Maharashtra. She came to know about the workshop through Satish Sir and took her training under trainer- Habul Paul. It was a one-month workshop in the year 2021. She has made Ganpati idols, Adivasi idols, and various other human structures.
Her learning experience at Tisserindia was an eye-opening session for her as she realized there is life beyond 4 walls. When she started with the training, she was in great difficulty managing her learning and household chores simultaneously.
It wasn’t an easy task for her to cope with everything at a time but eventually, she developed a habit and started mastering the art of management and didn’t let her hopes and dreams die. Being a housewife and a mother of two daughters requires a lot of time at home but despite this, she went through all the difficult times like a warrior and gave herself a new life.
She learned a new form of art which now excites her to a level that she is planning to start something of her own. Her dreams got wings while she was unaware that she could fly high with those hidden wings.
After the training program, she didn’t continue with her pottery but now planning to start and give the shape of her dreams to those pots. Her family is very supportive but she wishes to continue it from her home only as she also wants to look after her daughters. She has now decided to never stop chasing her dreams and keep moving forward like there is no end.
Pradnya is a 52 years old resident of Karada. She is married and has 1 daughter. Her husband was an auto driver but because of a leg injury, he stopped driving. Her daughter is married and she helps her financially.
Pradnya is a very emotional and sensitive woman. 6 months back, when her daughter got married she couldn’t digest the fact that she has become alone and was hit by the thoughts of being helpless and useless.
She is a part of Tisser’s Women Artisans Skill Enhancement Program for 4 months and has been all smiles since then. She attended 3 months of training under Satish sir and
became a master in pottery.
While learning at training, she mentioned at the end of each day they would talk about their work. She later started to find her work a lot more appealing. She has been really passionate about her work. She thinks anything you can imagine should be possible and you have to have a passion for pottery because there is a large amount of uncertainty, especially in the beginning.
It took confidence in her abilities to get through these times. Having experience with the creative process really made it easy for her to bring a change in her life. She was mentally frustrated inside and was struggling.
To come out of this and become more strong, she decided to join this project and got results really very quickly. She has made Ganpati idols, Adivasi idols, tabla, dholki, and idols of people of ancient times. In the beginning, it was different for her to learn as everything was new for her.
She had always been inside 4 walls and never got a chance to get out and experience something. She was very nervous but excited at the same time. It was difficult for her to draw experimental work but she managed to do with practice.
Making a really successful piece is probably the most satisfying thing for her. Sometimes there will be a piece or two that turns out better than could have expected. This makes her more happy inside and she gained confidence and inspiration to do something big in her life.
Even at the age of 52, it doesn’t matter to her and her husband to learn or experience something. Her husband is really happy and supports her. He handles the household sometimes. If you really want to achieve something in your life, you really need to work for it.
Pradnya has set an example for all the women out there who consider age as their weakness. She wants to support such women and give them the opportunity to work. She is going to continue working and wants to prove her age as her strength
She is a part of Tisser’s Women Artisans Skill Enhancement Program for 4 months and has been all smiles since then. She attended 3 months of training under Satish sir and became a master in pottery.