Artisans’ Day ’13

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As our readers might remember, MarketPlace celebrates Artisans’ Day twice a year. This year Artisans’ Day was held on March 16th at the Sita Sindhu Hall in Santa Cruz, Mumbai- not far from the MarketPlace office. Artisans from all the cooperatives participated in the event along with the children from Armaan Club. There were a couple of dance performances, including a solo performance by an artisan (a first!)- Bharti Gothal from Nirmaan. We encourage artisans to take on individual responsibilities as part of our mission to develop leadership for social change. Other than this, one group presented a song, others enacted plays about women’s issues and even the Armaan Club also took to the stage to perform.

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The kids of Armaan Club had done us proud on the football field this year and this was the perfect moment to acknowledge their achievements. The Armaan Club has been working very hard on the field, thanks to their training with the Magic Bus Foundation. It took a lot of hard work and regular practice but the girls’ team made it to the semi finals this year and the boys made it all the way to the finals. The kids received certificates and geometry boxes for their achievements.

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As a finale, a group of artisans who had participated in a workshop about overcoming cultural obstacles and standing up against violence towards women (“I Can’t, Yes I Can”) shared their experience with the audience. The artisans had depicted things they had been told they could not do on cotton squares. Everyone joined them in tearing up these pieces, while the ones representing their strengths were strung together like banners. The artisans carried these banners out of the hall and through the streets to the MarketPlace office, where they were attached to the front door. A positive finish to an exciting and meaningful day!

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