Dokra Craft Metal Casting - Clarion Call For Novel Designs To Popularize Dhokra Art
Author: Nantaram Orubenga
Dokra craft at one point of time was very popular in the domestic markets among native buyers. But with the passage of time, just like other Indian handicrafts, Dokra craft started witnessing a decline in demand and sales and it was well on its way to meet the same fate as other, once popular Indian handicrafts and brassware handicrafts.
The main reasons for the dying out or slow extinction of this high skill labor or Dhokra art form can be attributed to rising prices of raw materials, escalating price of the end product, low demand and lower supply. But the greatest factor behind the extinction of Dokra craft is perhaps rooted in the social evil called casteism and abject poverty.
Dokras or metal smiths or Dokra kamars and karmakars belong to the lowest social rank or caste in Indian social hierarchy. These dokras are regarded as social outcasts or social misfits and they are forced to live on the fringes of society as well as in the fringes of any district town or village!
Socially they are highly contempted, rebuked, derided and detested for their inferior rank and chosen line of profession. Dokra kamars have been included by the government of India in the ever growing list of schedule castes or SC.
Unable to bear this social humiliation, stigma and abject poverty (for majority of these Dokra families can't manage one square meal for themselves every day), many of these Dokra families of artisans have left this trade altogether and taken up other more profitable avenues of earning a livelihood.
Coupled with this shortage of skilled artisans, there is a lack of fresh and new designs. That is why the government of India and the Indian handicrafts ministry have suggested a slew of measures to improve the appearance of Dokra craft that are being manufactured.
The Adilabad collector in Andhra Pradesh has suggested that new, fresh and innovative designs, patterns and motifs must be incorporated into Dokra craft, if it is to witness any resurgence and revival as well as to woo both domestic and foreign buyers.
He also harped on the importance of bringing about suitable changes and advancements in the techniques used by Dokra craftsmen in their metal casting. He also stressed on the importance of stringent youth training programs among the Ojha groups and the urgency of better finishing for Dokra Craft.
About the author: Nantaram Orubenga is an artisan working with metals and clays. He wants to do something to keep the ancient Indian Handicrafts alive and to let the world know about it. If you are interested in discovering more on fascinating Indian Arts and Handicrafts, exclusive brassware and dokra craft metal casting, you must visit http://www.theindianhandicrafts.com
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