While Barmer, in Rajasthan, is famous for its hand block prints, which are inspired from the Sindh region of Pakistan, there is another very unique hand embroidery referred to as ‘Kalavat’ which has not seen the light of day. SoCHE Foundation, a Delhi-based social enterprise, is working towards bringing Barmer’s Kalavat hand embroidery to the mainstream.
Recently, a fashion show was organised in Delhi by SoCHE Foundation to promote ‘Handicraft for Conservation’, where in female tiger pugmarks were created using Kalavat hand embroidery from Barmer. Similarly, several other initiatives are being undertaken to promote the artisans from thisregion and provide them with alternate source of livelihood.
“Many handicrafts in India, like the Kalavat hand embroidery and the natural dyes, are not carbon intensive, and need to be promoted to meet larger environment conservation objective, along with poverty alleviation and livelihood generation for the artisans,” said Kanika Pal, founder of SoCHE Foundation.
People in Barmer are largely dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry, with even the children helping the family in the same. Frequent droughts and famine have become a part of life of the people in this district of Rajasthan. SoCHE Foundation in its efforts towards providing them with alternate source of income, has trained 20+ women from Illoliya and Derasar villages in Barmer, helping them create marketable design patterns of Kalavat hand embroidery and other similar skills.