Banjara – Beed and Osmanabad

The Banjara are a community usually described as nomadic people from the north-western belt of the Indian Subcontinent but now found in other areas of India also. Banjara art form is rich and includes performance arts such as dance and music to folk and plastic arts such as rangoli, textile embroidering, tattooing and printing. The Banjara embroidery and tattooing are especially prized and also form a significant aspect of the Banjara identity. The products made involve bright colours, mirror and coins to decorate clothing or to make accessories.

In Maharashtra, Banjaras are predominantly present in two villages, Beed and Osmanabad. Self-help groups have been established in these villages.

Location: Beed Osmanabad
SHG Name: Baburao Mahila Bachatgat Aadya Banjara Mahila Kala Kendra
Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Bachatgat

These women have been making products like coin and metal jewellery, mirror embroidered bags, embroidered borders and patches since establishment of the SHGs in 2010. The issues with existing products is that, even though they are very attractive, the embroidery is usually overdone and does not sell very well. The focus of trainings was creating of products that would use the art form sparingly on products and teach the women the concept of “Less is more”.

 

                                                           

                                                             

In the course of the trainings, our trainers realised that the women were not costing their products correctly. They would calculate the cost of raw materials for making a products, add a small amount of profit to it and obtain the selling price. The labour cost was not accounted for at all. Each piece of mirror takes about 4 hours to embroider onto the cloth and some meter long borders take almost a month to make. All of this time and labour is unaccounted for in their pricing. Customers do not understand the effort that goes into making a mirror work fabric. Our trainers have not only helped them diversify the products they make, but also helped them realise their effort and how to reward themselves for the effort they put in their products