Adhar Samajik Sanstha
Adhar Samajik Sanstha, Yalgud is a livelihood development initiative involved in developing a network of artisans, workers, and micro-entrepreneurs capable of producing high-quality handicrafts.
We are a non-profit company registered under Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950. Currently, Adhar Samajik Sanstha is working with the artisan community in major districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, India.
In addition to supporting existing artisans with contemporary design/product development support and consistent orders, the initiative has also been training new artisans, particular women into the handicraft cluster in order to revive the cluster with an infusion of fresh skills designs and markets and supporting the artisans to build viable micro-entrepreneurial alternatives. Adhar Samajik Sanstha also partners with markets and develops designs for products and services so that the efforts of the artisans are dovetailed with professional inputs, backed by contemporary and relevant designs and market approaches
Mrs. Aparna Chavan and Mr. Atish Chavan
Mrs. Aaparna A. Bagal-Chavan, a Biotechnology engineer from Kolhapur started working as a research scientist in 2007 in Biotechnology, along with which she also completed her PGDIM in 2009. It was during this period she came across the idea of “for the woman, by the woman” as her support for women empowerment. In 2009 she started her own boutique named ‘Women's Cottage' with only women staff from her locality, galvanized by ethnic style. In this journey, she went through various new product categories which led her to launch fashion jewellery and ethnic footwears. Soon her enterprise evolved into a known socioeconomic venture with her first online store www.WomensTrendz.com, also the first e-commerce store in the city of Kolhapur.
Aaparna's hard work and futuristic vision saw her dream come true, even when facing numerous challenges on her way. She helped women in her locality to acquire skills and polish their talent to design her products and provide them with employment. During this journey, she met a few artisans groups struggling to get their artwork the correct market exposure and carving out fair prices for their handicraft works. Compelled to find a solution, Aaparna got involved in every aspect of the artisan's work, making sure the artisans getting a fair price without compromising the tradition and quality of the product. The task was not easy as she has to reach towards right customers who were looking for valued Indian handicrafts, and now this socioeconomic enterprise has grown from one artisan's group to about 1250 artisans from all over India.
Kalapuri.com is a step towards reviving Indian handicrafts and the artisans making these handicrafts. It's a brave initiative taken by Mrs. Aaparna A. Bagal-Chavan and Mr. Aatish S. Chavan to connect with different dimensions of indigenous handmade products and cherish each and every aspect of their tradition. Kalapuri.com is a socio-economic venture providing an online marketplace for promoting, selling and buying of Indian handicrafts along with a vision of improving and upgrading the artisan's skills and their life. The journey of Kalapuri began in late 2014 with Aaparna at the driving seat after her successful startup's women's cottage and WomensTrendz.com specializing in women's ethnic clothing products and women empowerment. The entire team of Kalapuri is dedicated towards this cause with “Reviving Indian Handicrafts” and artisans as its main motto". Kalapuri (Village of Arts n Crafts) is a social enterprise jointly collaborated between Adhar Samajik Sanstha and Women's Cottage that has been working with artisans for over 5 years. The Kolhapur town or 'Colapore' is primarily known for Kolhapuri Chappals, Kolhapuri Saaj, Kolhapuri Thushi, Kolhapuri Pheta, Nauwari Sarees, Ghongadi, Terracotta Pots and Organic Jaggery. However, few have explored the true potential of the versatile art and crafts of this town.
Adhar Samajik Sanstha Team
Adhar Samajik Sanstha Team closely trains and employs artisans. In an industry where more than 90% of the artisans are women, many of Kalapuri's products have been handcrafted by women artisans. Proceeds from the sale of Kalapuri.com products go into the design and production of more innovative products while striving to keep the craftswomen employed. In recent times though, Kolhapuri Chappals craft has been dying a slow death. The major factors have been the lack of innovation in design and the Chinese invasion of mass-manufactured, cheaper look-alikes. While there have been designing interventions in the past. However, few have ensured sustainable work for these craftspeople. The attempt has been to reorient the craft to the modern context by ensuring that each design has utilitarian value and aesthetic value. The result is a series of products in the lifestyle space that has showcased the adaptability of this traditional heritage. Most Crafts in India continue to remain fragmented and have little focus on building a strong brand or consistent imaging. We at Kalapuri.com believe in strong communication and quality product design in the crafts sector hence it enables these traditionally crafted products to be showcased on par with the contemporary-created products of today in lifestyle stores and not be limited to the craft-fairs alone.