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Each product has a story to tell.
The Artisans of Tilonia come from different villages around the region and specialize in a wide variety of arts and crafts. They are sponsored by the Barefoot College, which is designed to empower artisans and improve the living conditions of neighboring villages. Established in 1972 by Bunker Roy, the college's mission is to facilitate the local communities with water, power, education, health, and most importantly, the means to live in an eco-friendly environment.
Of the many classes the college has to offer, traditional crafts is one of the programs which provides artisans with a decent income. Their main courses include weaving, leather and handicrafts. Artisans are not only trained in their respective fields, but they are also taught to understand accounting and marketing strategies. Graduates often remain to train new students. Artisans are assigned a field of expertise and the college provides the raw materials. They work from their home, and upon course completion they have earned enough to be economically independent.
The Artisans of Tilonia have mastered an array of rich traditional handicrafts including appliqué, bandhej ("tie and dye"), puppet-making, block printing, leather accessories, embroidery, wooden furniture, and weaving.
Each product has a story to tell. Puppetry tells stories of myths and legends of kings and queens; banderwals, or door panels, were used to decorate a newlywed's home.
Employing solar power, the college has many facilities including path labs, post office, dorms, an internet daba (cafe), a puppet workshop, an audio visual unit, a screen printing press, and a 700,000 liter rainwater harvesting tank.
Barefoot College has been recognized for its efforts to empower local artisans and has received several awards; including the St Andrew's Prize for the Environment, the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy, 2003, and the Stockholm Challenge Award for Environment. Their achievements have been applauded by the United Nations and recognized by India's government.
Novica is proud to support the college's mission by featuring the excellent work of the Artisans of Tilonia.
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