* Consume our way.

If we get to know of a farmers struggle, do we start eating more?
 
How will our consuming more food help him/her? Do we buy more groceries, cook more food, use those photos on social media and try influencing others to consume more food...do we?
 
Or, should we be looking at amongst many other things, on the need to buy more local, pay a better price, buy from small vendors, extend help in a non-monetary way, ask questions to those who are selling farm produce, check the production history, acquire knowledge, not waste what is bought, understand why its priced so, look into government policies, volunteer when needed, and support organizations who are already working on these very issues, isn't that better and has a far-fetching positive result in trying to enable the farming community?
 
Now, let's apply the same logic to the weaving industry.
 
As much as we have to stand in support of the weaving community, we can't just consume our way in the name of helping a weaver. Weaving requires an ensemble cast. A weaver on a loom is visually appealing and easily photographed, but there are more than a dozen vulnerable supporting cast who work behind the scene. Ensuring our support reaches to all of them is important too.
 
Have we ever bought cotton sarees/garments because a cotton farmer committed (and continues to) suicide? In spite of having clear evidence of farmers suicide and cotton being the most important and sometimes the only ingredient in cotton fabric, when did we think of helping them?
 
Don't stop buying and don't stop at buying.
 
Undoubtedly, meaningful commerce is an important part of sustaining anything handmade. Let our purchase be not with the sole purpose of rescuing weavers, as it's short-lived. Challenges in popularizing handmade existed even before this pandemic, it's just more visible now. Craft has always rescued humans and not the other way around.
 
Hence, in the craft sector, if not anything "consume moderately, pay adequately and value more" is a good start.
 
In picture: A storekeeper at a co-operative society, who understands the consumption of Ambara Charaka spun yarn used in every single meter of fabric hand-woven. A behind the scene person who is seldom included in our vocabulary.

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