When the PM came shopping !
Monday, March 8, 2021, is a day Sarita Dhurvi, can never forget in her life. This tribal artisan from an obscure village in Dindori district in Madhya Pradesh, might as well echo words of famous English poet Lord Byron,”I woke up one morning and found myself famous !” Why ? Although Sarita had been making Gond tribal paintings for years, and earning small change selling them to whoever cared to buy them, Monday, March 8, was when none less than the Prime Minister of India checked in as her customer ! Yes ! Shri Narendra Modi, admired and actually bought a painting of hers to adorn the walls of the most prestigious office of the people of India ! If you meet her in person, you can feel that this sudden glory from the blue is still sinking into her mind !
And so it was for two other tribal women, quite like Sarita: Monisha, a Toda weaver from Tamil Nadu, whose Poothukali shawl won the PM’s heart; and Rupali, a Santhal woman, whose hand-crafted file-folder made of Madhurkathi grass that grows in the 24 Paragana area of Bengal, impressed the PM as something truly ingenious, innovative and local ! The PM promptly went vocal about them on Twitter and other media, causing wide ripples !
The lesson in the PM’s thoughtful act was clear : that there is a huge talent bank in the hinterland of India – the rural and, more particularly, the tribal lands. This India, these Indians, and their amazing products need to be given the market attention that they deserve. Such attention is due not because the artisans belong to underprivileged tribes, but because their products are excellent by any standards of excellence. And, Trifed is enabling such market focus as a duty and a Constitutional obligation.
TRIFED, as the business arm of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is mandated to address this obligation. To this end, Trifed has promoted Tribes India, a rapidly growing chain of 131 showrooms across India that market a full and wholesome range of products of tribal artisans. These products include fabrics, paintings, handicraft, forest-sourced food and health products, exotic jewellery, utility-products, and a host of gift items in a wide price-range.
(To be contd)