DEF in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by L&T Public Charitable Trust celebrated Uddyam – Warli, a digital cluster initiative that aims to digitally empower the lives of tribal artisans in Talasari block of Maharashtra. Warli is a beautiful folk art from Maharashtra which uses rudimentary graphics for hand paintings. To mark the celebration, in partnership with the state government and local administration, the Talasari Artiste & Entitlement Day was organised on July 12, 2018, where 100 artisans were given their Artisan Cards to enable them to access various government schemes and benefits that they are entitled to.
The Uddyam – Warli is an initiative that primarily involves inclusive and decentralised use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and other digital tools in critical aspects of cluster development, especially improving and scaling up weaving skills, designs, marketing and entrepreneurship, along with creating sustainable livelihood options for youth in the clusters. The development focus of the model allows the integration of both social and economic capital needs of targeted artisan communities in an effort to lead them towards inclusive growth. Osama Manzar, Founder-Director, DEF, says, “Warli artisans’ skill is hard to match but their talent and artisanship has not been able to earn them the global recognition that they deserve. With adoption of digital tools and digital interventions, the cluster of Warli artisans would be able to mark their presence on the world map, thus earning the artisans better recognition and improved livelihood.”
Through regular support and follow-up with local artisans, Uddyam – Warli has been able to establish a recognisable presence in the cluster. As many as, 150 artisans have been mobilised and encouraged to organise themselves into 10 producer groups that are being trained in product development and diversification, leading to the strengthening of the artisans and their households, both socially and economically.