This Hyderabad-based textile designer and entrepreneur Ramesh Ramandham is on a mission to promote and sustain crafts that in earlier ages had wide-spread adoption but over the time are slowly beginning to disappear.
Ramesh Ramanadham is the founder of city-based RS Krafts organisation and has been conducting a peepal leaf painting workshops regularly at Lamakaan in Banjara Hills. The artist believes that the traditional arts of handlooms and handicrafts should be learned by this generation, and so he wants to save the art and spread it among interested youngsters, besides exhibiting his craftwork on international platforms.
Ramesh, who is busy with textile designing, used to conduct workshops earlier but due to some reasons, he stopped in between. However, he has now re-started conducting regular workshop again, and says that he wants to conduct different kinds of workshops where people can learn the art from artisans and also give some employment to them in the process.
Recently, he conducted a workshop at Lamakaan wherein participants were given dried peepal leaves to try out their skills. Paint brushes and colours were provided and the artist individually went over to each attendee and explained how to paint gently on the leaf without damaging it. Interestingly, this is the first of the ‘10 months 10 crafts’ inititative launched by Ramesh. Proceeds from theses workshops will be used for the benefit of craftspeople, he shares.
“Art should be learnt by everybody and our bad luck is that most people, even those belonging to artisan families themselves, forgot the tradition. In fact, people who are in the designing industry, too, don’t know where and how we will get the handloom products from,” says Ramesh who tries to spread awareness on arts that are on the verge of extinction. He shares the benefits of using natural products and also adds that the profits which they get should directly go to the artisans.
“People need to start using and gifting handlooms and handicrafts. Also, the government needs to give more encouragement to the weavers, and provide them with facilities required and market the handloom products at a decent price. The government also needs to set short- and long-term goals to sustain the craft. Mandatory rules like wearing only traditional dresses to temples should be started to encourage and spread awareness on handlooms,” he added.
“People need to begin celebrating festivals like ‘Bommala Koluvu’, ‘Bommala Pelli’ where people celebrate by wearing handlooms and displaying handicrafts,” he concluded.