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Craft Assembly

SITCO Craftpersons Assembly, Hyderabad

Hyderabad, April 18, 2012

The Annual SITCO Craftpersons Assembly was held in Hyderabad and attended by over a hundred persons from all parts of Sindh. A good number of women artisans were also present.

SITCO was represented by Mussarat Mirza, Nasreen Askari, Hameed Akhund, Shakil Abro and Niilofur Farrukh.

At the Assembly the artisans articulated the problems faced in the development of craft and requested the help of SITCO for solutions. The collective issues identified were:

  1. Access to more lucrative markets.
  2. Access to material / machines/training to increase capacity and refine craft products.
  3. Training in design/ upgrading of products to suit the taste/ need of the urban market.
  4. Welfare Fund for pension etc.

The SITCO Representatives emphasized the following shortcoming that need to be addressed by craftspersons.

  1. Understanding the importance of delivery deadlines.
  2. Understanding the importance of design guidelines
  3. Efficient and honest use of material provided by SITCO
  4. Serious commitment to the up-gradation of craft products like fast dyes, consistent standard of weaving, glazing, finishing etc.
  5. Transfer of traditional craft skills to next generation.

SITCO responded to the issues of the craftpersons by announcing the following support:

  1. Three trucks of the required wood for the Jhandi workers.
  2. Turning machines for the Jhandi workers.
  3. Pension funds collected by craftpersons’ representative body would be matched by SITCO for their welfare and retirement benefits.
  4. Gas kilns would be provided to potters of Hala
  5. Fortnightly SITCO Craft Mela in Karachi from August 2012 onwards to expand the market for crafts by providing sales opportunity and visibility.

The SITCO Craftpersons Assembly 2012 provided an opportunity to understand the problems and deliberate on solutions together. Craftpersons from different regions were also able to meet each other which gave a sense of fraternity and a visible outcome of this was the collective demand for a pension fund for craftpersons.

The direct dialogue during the Assembly strengthened the connection between SITCO and the craftpersons. More ustads (master craftpersons) took time off to attend the Assembly which is an indication of the importance being attached to the event as a platform for artisans.

The support initiatives announced at the Assembly will also enhance the credibility of SITCO as an organization that is responding to the voice of the craftpersons and is committed to the betterment of the craftpersons and conservation and improvement of the crafts.

Minutes of Meeting - PDF

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