At the time of establishment of Ranthambore National Park, a lot of Sawai Madhopur communities of Rajasthan, who were existing on woods lost their source of earnings. The single option they were left with was to search for another source of proceeds. Later, it was the Ranthambore Foundation who approached Dastkar to begin the revenue generation activities among ladies of that area. They recognized the neighboring craft traditions of that area and placed the foundation stone of an association called “Dastkar Ranthambore”. A proposal to generate skills, jobs and chances around the financial system of wildlife which was proved thriving as around 300 women artisans from the villages around the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve currently work here and produce their source of revenue.
This organization creates a variety of fashion accessories, like kurtas, scarves, bags, pouches and home furnishings such as bed-sheets, cushions, table linen, quilts etc using the skills of block printing, patch work and hand embroidery, which are highly esteemed in the global and domestic markets. Typical tiger motifs and pictures of birds, animals, and trees on the products mirror the concern of neighboring communities for the nature and its rare tiger specie.
The Ranthambore National Park spreads over 400 sq. kms of desiccated forest in the Sawai Madhopore district of the south-east region of Rajasthan. It is one of the handpicked natural tiger habitats of the globe. Forming this space and independence, nevertheless, meant that villagers, whose ancestors had lived for centuries within the vicinity of the Park who lost their homes and had to be resettled. Albeit these villagers were settled in areas just remote to the Park, they lost all their access to water, wood, and traditional unindustrialized lands. As a proposal to support these locals, the Ranthambore Foundation was formed with the aim of acting as a medium in transforming the relocation the social and monetary foundations of the communities. Only in this backdrop that the Ranthambore Foundation reached Dastkar in the spring of 1989 to take control of the proceeds generation programs for the locals crafts persons, chiefly women.
The Goals are: NEE
By means of local materials and craft skill to generate products whose sale and production would generate jobs and revenue, without obliterating the customary structures of village life, or preventing the producers from connecting in other agricultural and domestic duties.
Using the marketing and craft production as a catalyst to reconstruct the self-confidence and financial feasibility of communities, it had been displaced and uprooted from the area that was chosen as secluded, once the refuge was formed.
Dastkar proposals in the area of revenue generation with other programs of the Ranthambore Foundation, in areas such as primary health-care, education, adult literacy, family planning, environment conservation many more, thus generating a model for a holistic development. In order to create structures for capacity building, so that the crafts persons shall themselves develop into an accountable one for every stage i.e. from the point of sourcing raw materials to concluding marketing to the end customers.
Shortly, the small room could no longer deal with the ever growing numbers. The administrator of Dastkar Kendra was consequently, launched in January 1993 on a plot that was leased from the Foundation and with the help of donations and fundings. The Dastkari Kendra, the Craft Community Centre of Dastakar at the Ranthambore was envisaged as the conclusion of the initial phase of the DASTKAR Ranthambore Project. A squaring off of the different elements and these included in our revenue generation programme in the villages around the Ranthambore Park –training, production sales, social awareness and community building.
It was expected to serve as:
- Craft Production Centre
- Project Office
- Sales Outlet
- Training and Workshop Space
- Design and Sampling Studio
- Craft Documentation and Display Centre
- Raw Material Store
- Local Community Centre
The Dastkar Ranthambore project is presently being adminsitrated by Ms. Ujwala Jodha, local Project Coordinator who was supported by 4 office employee members. The Ranthambore shop was launched in September 2000.