Improving Livelihood Security and Achieving Sustainability of Craftsmen through Cultural Entrepreneurship and ICT Interventions

Donor: PASDEC & PPAF

Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality has always been a great attraction for the foreigners; unfortunately due to terrorism and other factors; the foreigner tourism has reduced considerably in the past 10 years or so;  the unfortunate implications are not only hitting adversely the tourism industry but the allied industries like art and handicraft..

The productivity level is also quite low due to unorganized production patterns and product quality is compromised due to lack of quality check and poor design inputs. Our homeland artisan’s lacks exposure and linkages with the national and International markets since majority of them even don’t have basic education and also because there is no such support available which may help them get insights about the market potential and trends. Often due to lack of market insights the products are sold in the local markets on a very cheap price and do not reach in to the wider markets.

Hardly few artisans know how to use the power of ICT to reach international buyers. Women entrepreneurs engaged in art and craft related activity cannot move freely for business purpose due to conservative social norms. Middlemen/traders, exporters, buyers, designers take advantage of such situations and exploit these artisans in term of buying products on extremely cheap prices.

The continuity of craft work as viable mean of livelihood is further effected by negligence of policy makers, political instability, war on terror and natural disasters. Resultantly the artisans and their second generation is getting away from traditional craft production when they see no future of themselves and their children in labor intensive but poorly paid craft work.

In an attempt to save the dying crafts of Pakistan and to avoid the resulting lack of opportunities for the local artisans and craft makers, Calyx joined hands with Mohenjoz to create linkages among local artisans and the international buyers for the promotion of local arts and crafts and achieving sustainability and

livelihood of Artisans in general and women

artisans in specific.It also involves effective advocacy and institutional support to promote the cultural arts and crafts through planned interventions and facilitation.

Capacity building of media on local culture through media briefings and press interactions engaging local press clubs and journalistic associations and sending public messages to engage public will also help us advocate the need of patronage to local artisans and their world famous crafts while highlighting challenges faced by the industry.

The initiative will not only promote local culture but will also develop dying cottage industry comprising indigenous crafts of the various areas of Pakistan.  This will create economic livelihood opportunities for the local artisans thus improving their quality of life.