Okhai, set up by Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) to empower rural artisans, on Thursday launched a helpline to support artisans in finding a newer market for handicrafts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The helpline number 6359021888 will also be registered on WhatsApp for easy access. Artisans across the country can register their concerns through a helpline and share about the products, it said.
"Handicrafts is the second-largest income generating industry in the country today after agriculture but it has not been immune to the effects of this global pandemic. The helpline is born out of Okhai's desire to create a solution to this challenge and safeguard the talented and skilled artisans in all forms of art," Okhai Head Kirti Poonia said.
While Okhai has scaled during the pandemic from representing 2,300 artisans in March to 16,000 artisans in October, this helpline will provide assistance to artisans in the farthest regions of the country, she said in a statement.
TCSRD, the corporate social responsibility arm of Tata Chemicals, said Okhai's objective behind the helpline is to reach out to the tribal and rural artisans in India and help them become independent and self-reliant.
Artisans' grievances registered through the helpline will be addressed in collaboration with the Creative Dignity group of volunteers supporting the crafts industry during the pandemic.
Okhai will also explore collaborating and partnering with organisations and government bodies working in rural areas with the local artisans, it added.
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