COVID-19 Pandemic’s effect on Craft Sector

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread in the world, countries found complete shutdown is one of the solutions to control its speed. By this solution it created a very big impact on small and big businesses. The handloom area is badly affected by this. This area is battling to survive. Many craftsmen lost their orders and need government support to start again.

Craftspeople are in the most vulnerable state. Most of the craftsmen are independently employed. They work on regular retail deals and direct requests. In the previous years handloom area was affected by demonetization and after that GST implication. A huge number of craftsmen work is affected by COVID-19 pandemic. For them it would be difficult to recover and start again after this corona pandemic.

It is time for government officials and non-government organizations to come up with strong policies and solutions to recover from this situation and for future prospects of this area. We need to look at the long- and short-term effects of this pandemic. There are a lot of challenges about making a network again and spreading it. But there is hope that craftsmen will make use of this time to produce new abilities and merge their business.

In this present time art bazaar or other similar events cannot be organized, for this season time is already over. Many orders have been dropped already. During this time artisans were working on their winter orders but due to this pandemic even wholesalers and retailers are not buying it. This area needs government attention and it should be addressed in an effective way.

Markets are already closed. On a usual day 200 to 300 individuals used to visit handicraft shops. But numbers came down to zero because of this pandemic. It will be the first time in history that all markets need to shut down.

So right now, a new kind of thing needs to emerge. This situation shows that the conventional methods cannot run for long. Government needs to make an online platform for craft bazaars or online events where craftsmen show their work and sell. Craftsmen need to train in a way that they can cope up with future challenges and become comfortable with online platforms for business. Government needs to give protected and better business options to craftsmen.

Pritam Singh, Assistant Professor, School of Fashion Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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