For decades together, many traditional folk art forms have been passing into oblivion, for a variety of reasons, including want of interest, support and knowledge. The last practitioners are being/have been forced to opt for other means of sustenance.
To the lay, urban public this has meant little or nothing at all. Our folk consciousness is totally dependent on the diet fed to us mainly by annual government sponsored events. Yet there are many among us, who we are sure, would be happy to help stem the decline, if only such awareness was made available to them. Spurred by the belief that it is only knowledge that can create demand, we are a team of like-minded people, united by our love of our folk culture and an urgently perceived need to raise the bar of awareness about it, both nationally and internationally.
Our mission thus is to document, disseminate and promote public consciousness of India`s Folk and Tribal Art and Culture, starting with West Bengal, primarily through this portal. But our mission does not stop there. In bringing these forms alive to a wider global audience, we hope to not only connect you to the artists and their arts, but also to enable you to contribute towards the conservation and propagation of these arts. There are so many ways you could do this – for instance, invite them to participate at local fairs and festivals or attend their performances or displays in their indigenous surrounds. In other words, Encourage, Buy, Spread the word.
And this is why we have adopted the name Daricha, which means “window” in Urdu. A window that opens out to the public and the online world at large, providing instant access to knowledge on India`s folk and tribal arts and its practitioners; and also a window that connects the folk artist and artisan to the rest of the world.
In addition to the portal, we also aim to help create sustainable and dignified means of livelihood for artists through activities that encourage and promote our intangible folk heritage. In short, we would like to play a part in making a difference to the folk and tribal arts of our land, and in this process look forward to your support, help and contribution as well.
It is with these objects in mind that we formed Daricha Foundation, a not for profit registered Society based out of Kolkata, in April 2013.