We are launching an initiative called Quilt India Movement 2020. In this pan-India movement, we don’t quit, we quilt,” says social entrepreneur Lakshmi Menon, who has launched the campaign.
She adds, “This is a movement to support artisans from various parts of the country. Millions of artisans are stranded with no sustenance in the lockdown’s aftermath. There is a pan-India collective called Creative Dignity where I do volunteering. The team has been working to support artisans financially and also help them market their products. Quilt India Movement 2020 (QIM) is an initiative to help artisans across India to sell off their unsold stock. We will be liquidating more fabric stocks and help other craft sectors as well. After the pandemic, we have faced a lot of challenges; but we are not willing to quit, instead, we quilt. This is a social fabric of collective consciousness.”
Lakshmi has decided to launch the campaign on an apt date — January 26, Republic Day.
“Weavers are weighed down by thousands of metres of unsold fabric. We will be buying those fabrics from weavers and artisans from all Indian states.
Patches will be cut out from those fabrics and one can decorate those patches. For eg, we buy a dhoti for Rs 500 and will cut it into 90 small patches. Each patch will be priced at Rs 25 and those who wish to support can buy it from the website, Pure Living. So, the total value of that dhoti will be Rs 2,250 and the money collected will be donated to Creative Dignity to support artisans depending on their needs.
Each patch a person buys (and designs) will be their certificate of participation in Quilt India Movement. You can keep it as memorabilia of a good deed done. You will get to know the value of it only one or two decades later. That time, you will understand how your contribution has helped in reviving the Indian artisan sector. Purchase of every patch facilitates liquidation of unsold stock of weavers.
The Quilt India Movement 2020 will be limited to 3650 patches of certificates. Each patch will be numbered and marked,” explains the social entrepreneur.
On January 26, the digital patches will be made available and those interested can buy them from the Pure Living website. “This is more like a democratic set up — though each patch is different, the entire design unites people across the world. There will be a final quilt design that will be put up as an installation in Biennale. This is an opportunity for us to do our bit in helping sustain the art and craft sector,” she adds.
There are many verticals of QIM and one of them is Quilt India Samman. “We gift mommy kits (baby frocks, nappy, sheets) to the needy mothers of newborns and underprivileged or war-hit areas in other parts of the world. Those who are interested can get the fabric from us and help us with stitching the edges. This way too one can help liquidate the stock of weavers,” Lakshmi sums up.