To work with women artisans of Virnoda in Pernem was a great opportunity and a challenge at the same time. The skill levels of all fifteen women were quite varied. A few were skilled, but most of them were beginners. This made group-work difficult and each one had to be assigned different products according to the skill level suited to that person.
The focus of the workshop was to develop products using the available skill set and locally available materials. Therefore whatever value additions and variations that were made to the existing products did not disturb the existing work ecosystem. The intention was to keep the goals realistic and to encourage the artisans to continue working in this sector without having to worry about sourcing materials from far off cities.
The workshop was an initiative of South Asia Foundation. It aimed at product development by involving designers and artisans to share their expertise on a common platform. The research at various stages revealed concerns towards the functioning of self-help groups, financing and coordination, lack of education, material procurement, issues concerning quality and finally lack of market links. These concerns make ground realities different from what we set out with.
A link to the complete report given below.