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Brij Ballabh and Deepak Sankit

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Brij Ballabh and Deepak Sankit, accomplished award-winning master craftsmen from Jaipur, and dynamic craft entrepreneurs, embarked on a remarkable journey amidst the pandemic. Together, they envisioned and established India's first Crafts Council, led and created by artisans themselves. Over the course of their inspiring endeavor, they've conducted more than 150 Zoom and live discussions, laser-focused on addressing the pressing needs of India's craft and weaver communities. These discussions have drawn in a diverse array of stakeholders, ranging from artisans, designers, and bureaucrats to non-profits, businesses, stores, exporters, academics, and research institutions. Their collective mission? To forge innovative pathways that nurture and sustain the thousands of craft traditions that define India's cultural tapestry.

Among their pioneering initiatives is the upcoming 1st CCWA Chhipa Handblock Printing Awards in Jaipur, a testament to the rich heritage of hand block printing that has thrived in Jaipur district for centuries. With renowned centers like Sanganer, Bagru, Kaladera, Badagaon Jahota, Jairampura, and Jaipur itself, this region boasts a legacy dating back to the 1700s, with royal karkhanas (workshops) at its core. CCWA is diligently preserving this heritage, documenting it in the authentic dialects of the artisans, and capturing the essence of living practitioners and masters. They are even crafting wooden blocks for their inaugural award ceremony, a celebration of the Chhipa caste, the revered hand block printers of the Jaipur region, and imprinting their artistry onto fabric. This visionary effort by Brij Ballabh, Deepak Sankit, and the Crafts Council of India stands as a beacon of hope and preservation for the rich craft traditions that define the nation's cultural identity.