From pavement shops to a portal: Narikurava jewelry is digitized
CHENNAI: Narikuravas and their accounts are now becoming digital, thanks to the efforts of a handful of Social Work (MSSW) students.
“The narikuravas, a nomadic community, who emigrated from the southern region of Mewar and towards, are known for their traditional beaded jewelry. But they generally sell their products in pavement shops. We wanted to give a wider audience a chance, ”says Devakumar M, a sophomore at MSSW, and the founder of www.nakuras.com, an online social enterprise run by students. Devakumar, an IT professional turned into a social work student, says he worked with members of the Narikurava community on a project that was when he had the idea of an online marketplace.
In addition to selling their jewelry, we are also conducting workshops for them with designers to get an idea of what is sold online, says Devakumar, who launched the website on Thursday. “Its main sources of income are waste collection and jewelry manufacturing. We are just trying to give the community a more sustainable solution. ”
The nakuras team works with narikuravas in Kotturpuram and areas, which has about 150 families.
“When I was an additional district magistrate in Karur, I interacted a lot with the community. A company like this would help them in the economic sense, ”says S Surya Prakash, joint director of art and culture at Chennai, who was present at the launch.
While Devakumar has managed to boost an online presence for the community, for over a decade, the Narikuravar Education and Welfare Society (News) in Trichy has been trying to do the same with its Chidiya brand. We have not yet managed to become digital, says M Seetha, founder of News, and a member of the community, but adds that she hopes her SMA son, SM Arun Kumar, will help change that.
The news, says Seetha, began when members of the Narikurava community worked with Sarah Lee, a UK designer, who taught them how to integrate their designs into the modern market. Lee, she says, helped them create their Chidiya brand, which means bird in Hindi and accounts in the dialect of the Vagri Boli community.
At the moment, News, which works with 250 women, supplies jewelry to Khadi Bhavans throughout the state and also goes to exhibitions. But I hope my son will give us a larger audience, says Seetha.
Meanwhile, Arun says he is working on a website for his mother and has started talking on online sites that specialize in rural crafts.