Dastkar, and its Chairperson Laila Tyabji, is an active and regular voice in numerous craft, design and development forums at national and international governmental level.
Many of the best known craft success stories in India, such as SEWA Lucknow, Banascrafts (Gujarat), Berozgar Mahila Kalyan Samiti (Bhagalpur), URMUL (Rajasthan), Sandur Kushal Kala Kendra (Karnataka), Kala Raksha and KHAMIR (Kutch) AVANI (Uttaranchal) and Mulberry (Assam) to name a few, successfully entered the urban consumer market through Dastkar’s design, training and marketing assistance.
Dastkar has been a core partner of Commitment to Kashmir, a Trust providing training, grants and market assistance to young crafts entrepreneurs in Kashmir.
International connections have been fostered through visits to countries like Bhutan, Iran and Jordan, along with consultations with craft organizations from Pakistan, Australia, the UK, the US, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Dastkar was awarded the Sanskriti Award in 1987 for its work in the social welfare and development sector.
In 2012 the Government of India conferred the Padma Shree Award to Laila Tyabji in recognition of her decades of tireless work to promote awareness of the rich and varied heritage of traditional Indian crafts.
Dastkar believes that Craft is something that nurtures us. It is a part of our culture and aesthetic and moreover has a vital role to play in the country’s economic mainstream.
In the coming years our resolve is to see it survive. As society changes, craftspeople will have to adopt changes too. Dastkar is here to shape and assist this process.