Organization - All Asian Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association(AIACA)

All Asian Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association(AIACA)
Basic Information
English All Asian Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association(AIACA)
Local language
Country India
Category General NGO
Domain Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Policy and System
Research
Documentation
Education and Training
Promotion
Revitalization
Established year 2004
Objectives

AIACA is a membership based apex body representing a wide range of actors and organizations in the handloom and handicrafts sectors. It works with the objective of ensuring growth and continued vibrancy of these sectors and a better standard of living for artisans and craftworkers. It engages in policy research and advocacy, and implements a range of programmes to enhance access of craft producers to mainstream markets and promote craft based enterprise development. These include the Craftmark initiative to certify genuine Indian handicrafts and the Enterprise Support Programme to assist craft producer groups to transition to commercially viable business entities.

Introduction

All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA) is a non-profit Society set up in 2004, as a network of handicraft and handloom organizations and artisans pan India. It works towards developing, incubating and accelerating craft based enterprises for generating sustainable livelihood in rural India. It provides end-to-end solutions for strengthening the value chain through design innovation, business skill development, production management, eco-friendly product development, access to finance, promotion and branding, and facilitation of direct access to markets. AIACA also engages in policy advocacy through research and policy dialogue with multiple stakeholders as well as bring to the fore voices of the artisans and craftspersons themselves as important stakeholders in the process.

AIACA has also designed and is running, since 2006, a unique national certification programme recognized by national and international markets called Craftmark (www.craftmark.org), which is a trademark to certify genuine Indian handmade craft products produced in a socially responsible manner. It connects crafts producers to commercial buyers and improves the economic competitiveness of genuine handmade craft processes and products of India. Craftmark has brought under its umbrella 150+ crafts enterprises, with an outreach to more than 50,000 artisans across 23 states of India. AIACA licenses the use of Craftmark to artisan organizations, craft-based businesses, cooperatives, SHGs, NGOs, designers, retailers/ buying houses and exporters upon verification.

Major Activities

Craftmark

Craftmark (www.craftmark.org) is the flagship programme of AIACA through which we provide continuous and need-based customized business development services to all our certified members. These include issuance of Craftmark licenses and listing on the Craftmark website for visibility and promotion; market linkages with Indian and international markets; product development support, production and inventory management trainings; and awareness on social and financial schemes applicable for the artisans.

Crafts Enterprise Development

AIACA’s key interventions are that of crafts based enterprise development where it works in a cluster for 2-4 years to empower the artisan clusters for sustainable business and livelihood from their traditional skills of crafts. Some of AIACA’s recent interventions are outlined below.

In 2014, AIACA started working in Mubarakpur to revive the forgotten and almost lost skills of this ancient handloom weaving cluster which practiced fine silk weaving  since the 14th century. This initiative of skill development and upgradaton, design development and product diversification, enterprise formation and registration, business skill development, brand building and direct market access has resulted in an organized and fully independent enterprise of handloom weavers with the brand name “Mubarakpur Weaves”.

AIACA has been working with small handloom weavers of Varanasi since 2014 and have set up a weaver led enterprise of 5000 weavers – “Varanasi Weavers and Artisans Society” – designed as a fair trade platform for authentic handlooms, ensuring right wages and profit share for the small weavers who were otherwise marginalized wage labourers.

AIACA has also worked with the traditional and unique skills of Kota weaving, enabling local weavers’ organizations to access greater market share and profit through facilitation of business support services, skill upgradation, design innovation, and effective organization management. Today, these women weavers enjoy a sustained and dignified livelihood.

Green Business and Technology

AIACA works on environmental sustainability practices in the handicrafts sector through its intervention “Going Green” in six artisan based handicrafts clusters of India addressing 12,000 artisans. The project focuses on training and technology identification / use for addressing issues of chemical dyes, water pollution, reuse and recycling of water, use of natural and local raw materials, etc. With this knowledge, AIACA has also upgraded its existing certification of Craftmark to include environmental standards, naming it Craftmark Green.

Research and Policy

As a network, AIACA works closely with the government on policy inputs and development based on its knowledge from the field and has contributed to major national policy documents on handicrafts and handlooms. AIACA also initiates policy dialogue through multi-stakeholder participation in national conferences that it organizes.

Craft Documentation

AIACA continuously strives to study and document handcrafted processes through its Craftmark programme as that is fundamental to building the value of handcrafted and awareness generation on such traditional skills.

Contact Information (Organization)
Website Wwww.aiacaonline.org; www.craftmark.org
Address B-223, Basement, C.R, Park, New Delhi- 110019
Tel 011-26277491, 011-26272492, 011-26270493/ 94
Fax
E-mail madhura@aiacaonline.org; contact@aiacaonline.org

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