Pune, February 8, 2021: ‘Anukriti’ has been promoting Handloom sarees, Tribal Art and Handicraft for the past eight years. Covid-19 and lockdown rendered many weavers and rural artisans unemployed in 2020. Some of the weavers and artisans started contacting us for help.
“We feel proud to announce that we’ve been promoting a few women weaver’s works also since last year”, says Anuradha Upadhyay who founded Anukriti in 2012.
She has been aggressively promoting a variety of handloom weaves and local art from all over India and popularizing Indian art and culture on global platforms. Anuradha feels proud to connect with these weavers and understand the nuances of weaving.
Anukriti firmly believes in generating sustainable local employment. The handloom textiles with their evocative patterns visually communicate the narratives of resilience, freedom, self-reliance and growth of our nation. They act as a link between India’s past pride and future prospects, she says. Anukriti was founded for promoting sustainable livelihood among tribal communities in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Vocal for local/Sustainable Employment: Anukriti was founded for promoting sustainable livelihood among tribal communities in Odisha and Chhattisgarh initially. We are happy to contribute our bit for this social cause, she says. Anuradha firmly believes that handloom textiles and handicraft act as a link between India’s past pride and future prospects. Their skills are passed on from one generation of artisans to the next. Credited for creating massive employment opportunities, the handloom textile industry has for decades been grappling with a gradual decline.
Labour intensive in nature, this sector has had to combat even the threat of extinction. With their ability to churn out more products at lower costs, power looms have progressively increased their hold over the textile industry. She says, “The challenges notwithstanding, the handloom industry remains unmatched in its unique blend of timelessness and innovativeness. It is with the vision to familiarize the current generation with its rich textile heritage and stitch a sustained relationship with its customers that “Anukriti” will continue to keep working on.
Sustainable Fashion: Anukriti believes in promoting” Sustainable Fashion” as it helps us target our wasteful behaviour and our non-appreciative attitude all at once. Ask her what’s her take on sustainable fashion and she says, “Thankfully a large number of people, especially the younger generation, is getting to understand the need for sustainable fashion. Promoting sustainable fashion will give a good boost to weavers as well as the environment. I wear handloom sarees only and this is how I am trying to encourage sustainable fashion.” They look fashionable and are comfortable to wear too. Anuradha is part of a large online women group from India and abroad who are passionate about wearing handloom sarees. We feel proud to be part of the handloom movement.
Her Story: Anuradha Upadhyay, who once dedicated her time to her family, decided to take a plunge into art entrepreneurship with a painting exhibition at prestigious Lalit Kala Academy in Bhubaneswar in 2012.
“My journey with Anukriti, which translates to Anu’s (Anuradha) creations, began late but I am happy that I started only when I was fully ready for it. My husband had a transferable job, so when I went with him to Bhubaneswar, I tried to explore the city’s rich art and culture. A lot of tribals reside around the city and make tribal crafts like Dhokra jewellery and artefacts. I always had an eye for art and painting, even though I never painted in my life. To see if I could paint, I enrolled in a class. I learnt Pattachitra from artist Bijay Kumar Khatoi, who is also my mentor. Pattachitra is an intricate art of Odisha, where one paints a whole story on canvas.”
She wanted to create something of her own. “So I created a fusion of Madhubani and Dhokra, Warli and Dhokra and Madhubani and Warli. Along with that, I started painting crab shells which were very well received. I also exhibited my paintings at Lalit Kala Akademi, where many artists aspire to exhibit their work,” says Anuradha who displayed her fusion paintings on canvas and tussar silks and paintings on crab shells.
This Exhibition was very well received by people and media and encouraged her to take her passion forward.