Artisans’ Day at MarketPlace/SHARE, Mumbai is a day to celebrate the women artisans and the dedication and skill they show as they make their extraordinary products.
Walking into the MarketPlace Center, one could think there was a small festival in progress. All the artisans wore brightly colored saris and big smiles and the room was full of excited chatter.
After a warm welcome to all the guests, there was an awards ceremony for the artisans and groups to acknowledge their excellence in quality standards, craftsmanship and participation in development activities. The women posed for photographs proudly displaying their certificates.
After that came the day’s first major event, a street play put on by Sahara Collective. All conversation ceased when the cast came onto the stage and sang a powerful song about women and their role and value in life.
The play itself deals with the theme of dowry- a legally banned but still prevalent social evil in India. It tells the story of a young girl who was married off to a dowry-hungry family and illustrates the abuse and torture she faces at the hands of her in-laws. When the bride tries to escape their atrocities by returning to her parents’ home, they send her back to her husband’s house. At the end the young woman refuses to put up with her husband, her parents finally supports her and her husband’s family takes her home. The performances were so powerful and the young bride’s tears were so real that everyone in the audience was affected.