Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ section)
- 1. When was Dastkar started?
In 1981. It was formally registered as a Society on 26th October, 1981; under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 vide Reg. No: S/12091.
- 2. Who started Dastkar?
Bunny Page, Poonam Muttreja, Jaya Jaitly, Gauri Chaudhury, Prabeen Grewal and Laila Tyabji. Laila Tyabji is the current Chairperson.
- 3. What was the incentive?
Working in different fields and professions, they all felt that Indian craftspeople, though increasingly marginalized, had a great skills and potential – economically, culturally and socially. Dastkar's objective is to use craft as a catalyst to socio-economic empowerment.
- 4. What does Dastkar offer craftspeople?
The basket of support services includes skill evaluation and up-gradation, capacity building, design and product development, market information, access to wholesale buyers, credit sources and other networking assistance, marketing through bazaars and exhibitions. Craftspeople/crafts organizations access those services they require.
- 5. What are the areas Dastkar works in?
Dastkar currently works in 22 states all over India. Skills and products range from terracotta to metal, embroideries to folk art, garments to furniture and basketry.
- 6. How does Dastkar select the craftspeople and craft organizations it works with?
It is primarily need based. Crafts people, NGOs, Govt departments and other organizations approach us and we assess their requirements through field visits and surveys, as well as through evaluating their products and skills. The criterion is that they should either be practicing handicrafts/ handlooms/ folk arts themselves, or supporting craftspeople who work in this field.
- 7. Does Dastkar have branches in other parts of India?
Dastkar does not have any branches. There is an autonomous sister organization, Dastkar Andhra, based in Hyderabad, working with handloom weavers and natural dyes, and the Dastkar Ranthambhore Project in Sawai Madhopore district, Rajasthan, both initiated by Dastkar. Otherwise Dastkar works directly from the Delhi office, linking with local grassroots NGOs or crafts organizations.
- 8. What is the correlation between Dastkar Society and Dastkari Haat Samiti?
The two organizations are not connected, though they are often confused due to the similar names, and because they both work in the craft field. Dastkari Haat Samiti is a national association of craftspeople founded in 1986 by Jaya Jaitly who is its President.
- 9. What is HANDS ON Dastkar?
This is a separate Pvt. Ltd. Company through which Dastkar does design projects, domestic and export orders and consultancies.
- 10. How does Dastkar fund itself?
Initial support through 1981-2004 was through Indian and International funding agencies such as OXFAM, NORAD, Ford Foundation, ICCO, and the DC(Handicrafts) Schemes. Most organizational and marketing activities are now self-supporting, with grants and donations for specific projects. Individual craft development projects are funded either by the beneficiary organizations or external funding.
- 11. What is the structure of Dastkar?
Dastkar remains a Registered Society, with a General Body and Office Bearers consisting of 4 of its original Founders and others from the craft and development sector. The current Chairperson is Laila Tyabji. The Dastkar Office, consisting of approximately 15-20 Administrative, Projects, Accounts and Operational Staff, operates under their guidance and mandate.
- 12. Is there a registration fee for becoming a member of Dastkar?
There is no registration or membership fee for craftspeople to avail of Dastkar programmes and events. If the artisan group/NGO/organization fulfills our criteria, we include them in our database. Membership of the General Body of the Dastkar Society is proposed by the existing General Body members.
- 13. How do I apply to Dastkar?
Dastkar is a very small organization, but we are always happy to receive your cvs and applications - for a permanent assignment or short-term consultancies. People with a background in Management, Social Work, Design, Marketing, and Finance are always in demand in the sector.
- 14. Does Dastkar take interns/volunteers?
We are happy to take interns/volunteers, but prefer people who can contribute some professional skill, and are willing to make a commitment of at least 2 to 3 months.
- 15. Does Dastkar export internationally?
Not directly. HANDS ON Dastkar has an export license and can undertake special orders or orders on behalf of its smaller groups. However it encourages the crafts groups it works with to execute bulk and export orders directly.
- 16. Does Dastkar sell online?
Dastkar does not currently have e-marketing site or the infrastructure to stock and dispatch individual products. We are happy to entertain wholesale orders.
- 17. How can we support Dastkar?
Through donations and grants to Dastkar and the Dastkar Artisan Relief Fund; through contributing professional help such as photography, design, documentation, research, fund-raising and other expertise; through conducting workshops and trainings. There are many ways. Write to Dastkar at firstname.lastname@example.org and start a dialogue.
- 18. What is the NATURE BAZAAR at Andheria Modh?
In 2012 Dastkar won a DTTDC tender to turn the abandoned Kisan Haat in Andheria Modh into an on-going hub for crafts and natural products on a 15 year lease. We organize monthly themed Crafts Bazaars and have a line of permanent stalls (the GALI e KHAS) selling crafts and natural products. This is in partnership with Delhi Tourism and Delhi Government, on a revenue sharing basis.
- 19. How does one participate in NATURE BAZAAR and other Dastkar events?
Anyone working in the field of crafts and natural products can approach Dastkar through email or our website, attaching brief information about themselves and visuals of their products.
- 20. What is the cost of participating in a Dastkar Bazaar?
Dastkar charges a participation fee of Rs 450/- a day per stall in summer off-season (April to July) and Rs 675/- per day in the winter season (August to March) plus 10% of sales. There is an additional 12.36% tax on both amounts. This is for the year 2014-15.
- 21. What is the cost of a Food Stall at the NATURE BAZAAR events?
Rental charges are Rs. 786/- per day in the summer months April to July, Inclusive of 12.36% service tax , plus a Rs. 10000/- refundable security deposit and Rs. 1123/- per day during the winter season (August to March) Inclusive of 12.36% service tax, plus a Rs. 10000/- refundable security deposit.
- 22. How are these charges utilized in running the Nature Bazaar?
It covers the cost of publicity, display, maintenance, security, electricity, Tent House charges for tables/chairs and other facilities in the stall, administrative expenses, and revenue sharing with DTTDC.
- 23. What is the Gali-e-Khas?
This is a line of permanent stalls at the Nature Bazaar venue, which remain open through the year; selling a variety of products ranging from garments, saris and stoles to home and garden accessories, natural products and traditional snacks. It is closed on Mondays.
- 24. How can one get a stall in the Gali-e-Khas?
Any organization/individual working in the field of handicrafts, handlooms or natural products can apply. Dastkar will decide depending on stall availability and other criteria.
- 25. Does Dastkar organize Bazaars outside Delhi?
Yes. We have organized bazaars in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata and Chandigarh, usually 2-3 a year. We organize an annual NATURE BAZAAR in Bangalore.
- 26. Is there a difference between the outstation bazaars and the ones at the NATURE BAZAAR venue in Delhi?
At the Delhi NATURE BAZAAR venue, we organize thematic exhibitions every month, while in other metro cities the Bazaar has a more general mix of crafts and textile craftspeople, plus cultural events and interactive workshops. The size and scale depends on the venue available.
- 27. Do you have the same participation charges for the outstation bazaars?
No. We take a fixed amount from each participant to cover all direct & indirect expenses of the bazaar. This amount is decided on a case-to-case basis, depending on the participant's scale of production and the sales value of his/her products.
- 28. What differentiates the different events at NATURE BAZAAR?
Each event has a theme: based on a festival, geographic area, season, skill or material. These range from BASANT, KID'S BAZAAR, WINTER WEAVES, DESIGN FEST, to the ASIA BAZAAR, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS and the GREEN MELA, with each event having from 40 to 100 participants. Each Bazaar includes cultural events and demonstrations that match the theme. In addition, there is an annual mega-event called NATURE, which is bigger in scale, with the complete range of craft skills, interactive workshops, demonstrations and cultural performances.
- 29. Do the thematic bazaars recur annually?
Most are repeated annually, but there are some stand-alone events.
- 30. Can others use the NATURE BAZAAR venue for their own solo events?
Yes, we are happy to rent out Nature Bazaar space, for events and activities which are consonant with the objectives and criteria of NATURE BAZAAR and Dastkar. There is also a 500 sq ft indoor Exhibition Hall, suitable for small exhibitions, seminars, and workshops. Both have a separate set of rules and regulations which are available on request