Welcome to kala Swaraj Foundation

Long before industrialization, in India’s rural villages supply and demand coexisted in balance, making each village economically self-sufficient.

Much of the population was employed through agriculture, but non-farm, cottage-based activities, such as handcrafting textiles, making pottery, carving wood and smithing metal provided supplementary income.

These artisanal activities started to disappear as cheaper and faster industrial mass production destroyed most of the local market for artisanal products. Our ancient skills and knowledge of producing unique and customized handcrafted products has become uncompetitive against the vast industrialization of the past centuries, that has brought us into an intoxicating but unhealthy fast food and fast fashion era.

Now the taste of food is similar everywhere because we all use genetically developed seeds which have the same characteristics. Millions of people wear the same clothing which comes through large scale, monotonous industrial production. You can identify many such examples if you look around and ask your elders in family. But, how long will all this continue? I am sure not more than a few decades due to the inbuilt unsustainability of the logic of industrial production, which requires ever-increasing use of scarce resources, and an unhealthy and consumeristic view of life.

Many people are coming back to understanding the economic wisdom and beauty of producing things slowly by hand, but unfortunately, around the world, much of the knowledge and skills that is needed for artisanal production has already been lost.

In India however, where many millions of artisans still practice centuries old handcraft traditions that are transmitted from generation to generation, much knowledge remains because handcraft has been so closely related with the Indian freedom struggle and the fact that other meaningful employment is rarely available. Currently, because of lack of access to the market and other problems, about 15 or 20 percent of artisans drop out of the system every 10 years. If this trend continues, we will have no artisans by 2050.

Kala Swaraj strongly believes in the sustainability of craft and its importance to future civilization. We believe that with the growing interest in handcrafted goods and social justice, handcraft systems will thrive again, and artisans will be liberated from poverty and marginalization.

Our country is already witnessing this change, as more and more people, especially the younger global generation of entrepreneurs from the developed countries, seek unique and meaningful goods that are also ethical and sustainable. They find that India is a most suitable match in part because of our open and interactive young population which is ready to join hands with them and build fair trade.

Kala Swaraj will facilitate the interactions between the buyer and producer that will help both to attain their business and social goals that are part of being a global citizen.

Kala Swaraj Foundation is a NOT FOR PROFIT Company registered on August 17th 2016 under Companies act 2013 with a registration number U74999MP2016NPL041334.