Bringing Vishwakarma’s From Grassroots : execution of Vanvasi Project India in Uttar Pradesh

It all started in 2021 when a young architecture graduate studying management decided to get into reviving and scaling India’s village heritage . It was joined by former Sanskrit lecturer and embroidery connoisseur Alka Katiyar and late Shirish Chandra Katiyar as the co founding team. The first village of their concentration of work was Khurrampur near Kannauj. The activities involved the development of a fresh supply chain that could translate into a value chain in the coming times. Architect Rishabh Sachan fondly called Rishu devoted his time in building the supply chain where women in the boundation of their village homes became self reliant by learning and improvising their skills of hand embroideries. Rishabh Sachan says, it’s not about selling fast and cheap but about improvising quality from the village level. We cannot stand competition if our quality is under question . We don’t want to sell cheap because we can produce exceptional products that cannot be replicated by machines . It’s about the human touch and emotional retina in our country . The idea of Swadeshi is an incomplete notion if there no linking of quality value chains and right pricing, says architect Rishabh Sachan. Recently, tourism personality Prateek Hira joined the board of this historic work going in Uttar Pradesh villages. With a conviction of connecting high quality rural tourism with high performing craft clusters , it is a tough nut to crack. Alka Katiyar, who is herself training the women tells about the happiness of these people when they get to learn something new. She has transcended in becoming the “ Bua Ji” of these women artisans. Her experience in the last two years comes out of her passion to bring not only an temporary impact but a long term behavioural change in village women that desire to progress in life . Gatekeeper of the spectacular, Dr. Navina Jafa, is also advising the team of the humble startup with her life long experiences in intangible heritage. Wajahat Habibullah, trustee of the Asian Heritage Foundation, gave the hardworking team suggestions to execute “ Train the Trainer “ programme when they were struggling to scale up in Uttar Pradesh. Rishabh says , he feels very inspired when he listens the work and tales of ancestral village skills and the potential of these products. It’s a tale of of hard work and persistence . Rishabh as a young man decided on the trade-offs to leave a comfortable and start a well settled life as an architect to opt for building a rural supply chain deep down in the villages of India . He says, everything looks very difficult in the beginning but slowly and gradually things start falling in place . Rishabh Sachan has had worked under Trifed as a volunteer during IAS Pravir Krishna’s Van Dhan Scheme implementation in India for Narendra Modi. While describing how will they sell the handmade products, he explains the problems that they are solving giving a reference of “ turnaround time “ in different processes of products . Livelihood Consultant, Anandhi Dasaraj had told Rishu about the same , asking him to work in this subject in detail before he makes his artisans ready to face the market . The model is not about selling faster and cheaper but primarily getting the women artisans self reliant and stronger to develop and understand market forces themselves . It means, team vanvasi is developing the women artisans before the product . So that they know what to do when they need to stand on their own feets.

Rishabh Sachan –

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