Karigar Panchayat

Success of Magan Sangrahalaya’s reach under its Karigar Panchayat programme saved 200 potters from starvation. The following story illustrates how MSS facilitated preservation of their traditional market.

Ganapati, the most popular god of Maharashtra State (and all of India) is celebrated by millions using mud idols during the September festivities. During the last decade, the traditional mud idol had been replaced by the mass produced plaster of paris idols, which not only pollute the rivers and water bodies where they are immersed in large quantities after the festivities but also rob the traditional mud-idol artisans of their livelihood. In Wardha town itself, 200 artisans were on the verge of starvation due to the loss of their traditional source of income. Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti worked closely with these artisan members of the ‘Karigar Panchayat’ movement to mobilize the community, religious groups and governmental infrastructure and local business groups.

Enlightening all stakeholders about the ecologically unsound and indestructible plaster-of-paris idols and encourage the naturally disintegrating and environment-friendly mud idols which have bio-friendly solvent properties, resulting is non-degradation of water bodies during the immersion process. This was a remarkable achievement which led to re-instatement of traditional artisans’ craft and revival of their livelihoods not only in Wardha but also a large part of Maharashtra State that followed this initiative.

We must work towards the upliftment, development and progress of artisans.
Artisans should play a complementary role in environmental conservation and enhancement.
Karigar Panchayat must form honest, brave, healthy and progressive relationship with the society.
Karigar Panchayat should transcend the village peripheries to facilitate and strengthen the culture, art, science, wisdom and spiritual values of the entire nation.
All the decisions of Karigar Panchayat should be through consensus.
With a collective effort, Karigar Panchayat members should get rid of their ill habits, addictions and unhealthy customs.
Karigar Panchayat should form a sound understanding of policies, laws, projects and schemes impacting the artisans and disseminate them this information that leads to appropriate interventions for the benefit of the artisans, the society and the environment.