EXISTENTIAL THREAT LOOMS OVER THE ART WORLD
As India goes into complete lockdown for 21-days, the government has also called off all events including the art exhibitions and cultural festivals,which has affected the artisans' daily life and their business the most. Laxmilal Chippa, who does block printing, talked to Millennium Post about how the 21-days ockdown has affected the art and craft industry. She said, "My traders and raw material providers are being very supportive in view of the current scenario. one of them is forcing to pay the pending dues right now." The National award winner Lax- milal believes in standing together in combating COVID 19, thus asked her workers to stay home and take precautions. "I am in touch with my colleagues and partners over calls and strategising how to go back towork when things get better. We have planned to work for 2-3 hours extra to recover the losses," she said. Another artist from West Bengal, Mahamaya Sidkar, who excels in Kantha embroidery, is facing several problems at work front due to the lockdown. Sidkar is unable to sell, export and deliver the finished products as the workers are not coming to work. Sidkar, who won National Award for her embroidery work, is utilising the quar- antine time to polish her skills. "On the brighter side, now I don't have deadline pressure. So I can be more creative and innovative, which will help me to bring more business and recover losses post ockdown," she added. Lalita Vakil, who hails from Himachal Pradesh and specialises in chamba rumaal embroidery, shared a similar account as the art and raft business is getting affected so is the livelihood.
Vakil who has won Shilpguru, and Nari Shakti awards besides National Award, said that she did not get time to prepare for the pandemic as it happened so quickly. Vakil's lives in a 250 years-old-house, which has been crumbled and she can't reconstruct it due to the lockdown.
"I am in great loss. Life has come to a standstill. I don't have a proper place to stay. If the lock- down continues for more than 21 days, the situation will be ery difficult for the business to survive," she added. All the three artists have returnedto their home city after the nation- wide lockdown was announced. They were in national capital for various workshops organised by India Craft Week (ICW), which is scheduled for November 5 to 8, 2020.