2004. History of The Dastkar women’s craft cooperative

The Dastkar Ranthambore Kendra (= a center) is off the main road of Sawai Madhopur town, on land bought by the Dastkar society. Their projects began in the nearby villages surrounding the Ranthambore National Park. The 400-square-kilometer national park is one of the finest natural tiger habitats in the world, but when the park was officially created back in the 1980s the villagers were resettled just outside the park, losing their homes, access to their wood, water and traditional farming lands. Their ancestors had lived for centuries in the area.

A twenty-year-old Indian NGO, Dastkar has been helping to revive India’s traditional crafts. Their programs have helped these local craftspeople, especially the women, to create an independent and sustainable income so they can hold on to their traditional village life and continue their other agricultural and household jobs. With a production center and training workshop, a sales outlet, a local community center and a guest house, the Kendra is a special space for the craftspeople to meet and do their work.

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