Bell Metal

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CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, INDIA

DIAGNOSTIC STUDY ARTISAN THE BELL METAL CLUSTER KONDAGAON (CHHATTISGARH)

BY

BHUPESH TIWARI Cluster Development Agent

DEVELOPED UNDER

THE TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR THE CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT AGENTS, ORGANISED BY UNIDO CDP NEW DELHI&

THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE OF INDIA (EDII), AHMEDABADYEAR 2002

The views expressed in the Diagnostic Studies are those of the authors and should not be attributed to UNIDO or to the institutions they may represent.

KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

CONTENTSNO. 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2 The National Scenario Government Support About Bastar Handicrafts The Kondagaon Bell Metal Cluster 3 TOPIC PAGE 1

THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVEI) II) III) IV) V)

Upto 1960 - A Hidden Art 1960 To 1970- Receives Recognition At National Level 1970 To 1980- Honour Of Artisans 1980-1990- Received International Repute 1990-2000- A Time Of Diversification 5

3

THE PRODUCTION DETAILS 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Process Raw Material Requirement Of The Cluster The Work Environment The Cluster Map

4

SKETCH OF OTHER ENTERPRISES & INSTITUTIONS IN THE CLUSTER 4.1 4.2 Local Institutions Need For An Effective Service Institution

8

KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

5

ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS Raw Material Products And Markets Main Issues Facing The Cluster

9

6

SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats

10

7 8

VISION FOR THE CLUSTER STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS INTERVENTIONS ANNEXURE & ACTION PLAN FOR

10 12

9

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KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

1. INTRODUCTION1.1 THE NATIONAL SCENARIOThe evidence of the Bell Metal craft have been discovered in the relics of Mohanjodaro and Harappa civilizations, which prove the historical and traditional importance of the industry. Even today it is practiced in several parts of the country like Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and U.P etc. These bell metal artisans are mostly tribal-people. The metal-crafts sector plays a vital role in providing employment to our rural population. In India there are about three million handicraft artisans and most of them are working in metal sector. These metal artisans display inherent creativity and play a significant role in protecting the traditional art and culture of our nation. The following graph shows the state-wise distribution of artisans in India. STATEWISE DISTRIBUTION OF CRAFTS PERSONS IN INDIA (Figures in 000)

500

400

Cramaman

300

200

100

Meghalaya

Rajasthan

Assam

Nagaland

Orissa

Gujrat

Arunachal P

0 Ap

Tamilnadu

Mah.

Manipur

HP

Bihar

Haryana

Keral

Punjab

MP

UP

State

Chandigarh

Tripura

Sikkim

Karnataka

A&N

J&K

WB

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KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

1.2 GOVERNMENT SUPPORTThe Indian Government has been giving a lot of support and has designed various measures for the development of handicrafts industry. The following chart provides a brief insight into the various development actions taken by the Government during the different five-year plans for the benefit of this sector. HANDICRAFTS INDUSTRY AND THE FIVE YEAR PLANS First Plan Enhance opportunities of employment and income from crafts as an economic activity. Provision of support services for the development of various crafts Specific measures of development were adopted for identified crafts.

Second Plan

Third Plan

Fourth Plan

Propagated the service institutions rather than the producer cooperatives Thrust on increasing production and exports and to improve the earning & working conditions of craftsmen.

Fifth Plan

Sixth Plan

Training activities given a major impetus. Increased involvement of Voluntary Agencies Enhance opportunities of employment and income from crafts as an economic activity.

Seventh Plan

Eighth Plan

Note: Please refer to Annexure 1 for details on each plan's outlay for Handicraft sector 2

KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

1.3 ABOUT BASTAR HANDICRAFTSThe Bastar district of Chhattisgarh is a prime place in the state for its unique tribal culture and traditions apart from its abundant natural resources. It is located in the extreme southern part of Chhattisgarh adjacent to the states of Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The tribal King Pravir Chandra Bhanjadev, who ruled Bastar for decades contributed a great deal for promoting the art and culture of the place. The Bastar district is world-famous for its handicrafts. There are 20-25 thousand artisans in Bastar working in various areas like Terracotta, Iron craft, Bell metal, Wood carving, Bamboo weaving etc. These crafts have a great market potential in India as well as abroad. Many designers and specialists visit the region with a desire to establish themselves in these crafts but due to a lack of proper infrastructure and facilities they fail to stay on for long.

1.4 THE KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTERKondagaon, a village in Bastar as a Bell Metal Cluster is about 300 years old. It is popular for decorative items like idols of God-Goddesses, and other utility items. Wax and wood which are essentially needed for these Forest Based Metal Crafts, are naturally available in abundance in this area. Technical upgradation, Finances, Testing facilities, Branding, New design development, Proper packaging etc. are the main problems of this trade. Apart from the Kondagaon town Bell Metal artisans also live in other villages like Barkai, Karanpur, Jagdalpur, Dahikonga etc. A village-wise list of number of artisans is given below. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Name of the Village Bhelwapadar Para- KONDAGAON Khorkosa Karanpur Barkai Bhanpuri Dahikonga Alwahi No. of Artisans Family 100 15 12 8 4 6 20

In India, the commercial trading of this craft (Forest Based Metal Craft) began at Moradabad. At other places, the craft was only fulfilling the needs of the local people.

2. THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVEThe Bell Metal craft of Bastar is an ancient skill that according to the local artisans is about 500 years old. The craft received patronage from the Royal families, who used to pay the artisans to make idols. However, earlier the art was practiced only by the Gadwa tribals but after 1950 there has been an increase 3

KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

in the number of artisans. The actual growth of the cluster began in late 1960s. The following presents a checkered history of the growth of Bell Metal at Kondagaon

(I) UPTO 1960 - A HIDDEN ART:The artisans used to work for the Royal families of Bastar and make tribal idolatry statues. There were very few artisans at that time.

(II) 1960 TO 1970- RECEIVES RECOGNITION AT NATIONAL LEVEL:In 1960 after the Bangla -refugee rehabilitation or the D.N.K. project started, some I.A.S. and I.C.S. officers were posted in the region for administering the settlement activities. With these officers, some famous leaders and media people were also attracted to visit the place. This filtering-in of people from various regions gave an automatic popularity to the Bell Metal craft and soon the sector found space in Newspapers. Even officers who were posted there at that time felt the potential of the craft and tried to develop it further.

(III) 1970 TO 1980- HONOUR OF ARTISANS:In this decade, a few famous artisans of Bastar were given various state and national level awards. Also during this time, many exhibitions of the craft were organised in various cities of India, which made it move towards highly popular.

(IV) 1980-1990- RECEIVED INTERNATIONAL REPUTE:During this period Mr. Jaidev Baghel, one of the bell metal artisans from Kondagaon achieved international p opularity. This attracted the attention of traders world-wide towards Kondagaon and as a result the new generation in the village also started taking keen interest in the trade. Many exporters from metro cities, after seeing the potential and glamour in the craft took training for developing the same.

(V) 1990-2000- A TIME OF DIVERSIFICATION:As the Bell Metal products started easily flowing into the external markets, the number of artisans involved in the craft increased and so did the production. Various growth measures like formation of groups of artisans, development of new designs etc were carried through with the help of Government Interventions. But at the same time, there was an increased competition amongst the artisans and it led to unhealthy practices. Because of working capital problems, the artisans who organised themselves in groups and pooled their resources. But those who were dependent on external buyers only, had to face many problems and sometimes they even had to loose their capital.

4

KONDAGAON BELL METAL CLUSTER

3. THE PRODUCTION DETAILS3.1 THE PROCESSThe Dokara art is a major attraction of Bastar. They are prepared by the Ghadawa community and hence it is also known as the Ghadawa art. The Ghadawas are small artisan groups who produce brass or bell metal objects. The name Ghadwa is derived from the world 'Ghalna', which means to melt and as these people prepare the craft items by melting the metal using a lost wax technique, so they are given the name 'Ghadwa'. The raw materials such as wax and metal are purchased from market. The others like clay and fire wood etc. are collected from the nearby forest itself. First the artisans prepare images with a type of clay called 'man-matti', which is collected from river bed or from rice fields. When the image