Impact of Social Media on the lives of the Women of the Kantha Embroidery Industry
By Prof. Anupam Das, IIM Kozhikode.
Abstract: The Kantha is an indigenous piece of embroidery work created by the rural women of West Bengal and Bangladesh and has its origin as a traditional functional form of embroidery known for transforming worn out textiles into beautiful forms of art whose intricate designs are steeped in religion and folk beliefs. Though the initial intention of this creative form was functionality rather than monetary, it has now become commercialized as a symbol of an ethnic product that has universal saleable attributes. After closely studying this unorganized sector in selected parts of rural Bengal, we learned that primarily women in poor families engaged in Kantha embroidery work to support their family’s financial needs. Unfortunately, they are poorly paid and they do not get due recognition for their creations. In our study we attempt to understand the current model(s) of the Kantha embroidery industry and consequently, we intend to offer an alternative model that can help the poor women artisans reach out to a global consumer base that has better purchasing power than the local consumers.