The income of tribal artisans has slightly increased from Rs 1,27,000 to Rs 1,31,000 as a result of the Tribal Entrepreneur Development Program workshop in March this year in Jharkhand.
A joint venture between the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs (MoTA) and the 101-year-old apex industry body, the Associated Chambers of Industry and Commerce (ASSOCHAM), TEDP has become a game-changer for most tribal artisans and their respective communities. Indigenous artisans have been able to successfully apply it to their daily lives after training in courses such as digital technology and financial management, and their annual income has increased slightly despite the epidemic.
After a 21-day workshop on Jharkhand’s traditional art form – Sohrai Khowar’s paintings have created about 300 paintings. The training was conducted in February and March of this year and was attended by about 26 tribes, most of whom were from Oraon, Munda, Kharia and Santal local tribes. About 6 percent of the beneficiaries are women artisans.
The workshop in Jharkhand highlights some interesting and yet contradictory issues about the tribes there. The average monthly income of a tribal artisan in Jharkhand is Rs. 4269 per annum. They were also the least intelligent in terms of internet and social media networking. Oraon female artists from Dipugarh village were familiar with the use of social media like email and WhatsApp and Facebook – for example, Munda artists knew how to use WhatsApp only and Santal artists used their mobile phones only to make calls.
Things have changed since TEDP training, and artisans have not only benefited from exposure to high-profile government exhibitions where they showcase their work of art but now they specialize in managing online networking.
The trainers helped the artisans take the first steps towards using digital technology by creating an online marketing profile for painting on social media platforms like Facebook and showcasing their work there.
Publishing a catalog, exhibitions through the website, and their paintings and works of art have been photographically and textually digitized to enable B2B interactions of tribal artists directly with clients and customers. The average income before TEDP was Rs 1,27,000, which has now risen to Rs 1,31,000 post-workshop and artisans consider it an encouraging sign.
The TEDP initiative was launched on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 last year. Since then, under this initiative, more than 350 tribal artisans from all over the country have benefited.