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Kayakalp

Project Kayakalp aims to empower traditional puppeteers and expand their income generation possibilities by making their art relevant to contemporary audiences and capitalising on unexplored markets.

Pulling the Strings of Change

The puppeteers have designed puppet shows that convey social messages. Children are able to easily relate to them and comprehend the moral better.

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The puppeteers proudly hold their puppets- the Anarkali right before the performance.

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The Amar Singh Rathore show, a timeless piece in traditional puppetry has enthralled many an audience.

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The puppeteers have designed puppet shows that convey social messages. Children are able to easily relate to them and comprehend the moral better.

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When:

11 February, 2012

Where:

Shadipur, New Delhi, India

Figures:

14 puppeteers impacted, More than 120 successful shows performed

Change:

Uplifting and empowering small and marginal farmers, Improved efficiency in the agricultural supply chain, High quality produce for consumers

Project Kayakalp aims to empower traditional puppeteers and other artists of Kathputli colony, Shadipur Depot and expand their income generation possibilities, while also using the medium of puppetry to convey social and environmental messages.

Puppetry, in India has seen a downward gradient from being an art which lit up the Indian streets and courtrooms, to being pushed to hopeless anonymity reduced by the contemporary forms of entertainment. Project Kayakalp is an initiative to revive the dying art form.

The endeavour aspires to set the stage for these preservers of Indian heritage to display their forte in full fervour, hoping to empower the community with new found certainty and faith in the art form. We aim to achieve this by expanding the community’s income generation possibilities, by making their art relevant to contemporary audiences and capitalising on unexplored markets.

// Revive  :

To revive traditional art forms and to preserve the rich cultural heritage of our country.

// Empower :

To empower these artists by expanding and stabilising their income.

// Educate  : 

To educate children on social and environmental issues using the mode of puppetry.

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// The Community and the Business Model

The project is based in the slums of Kathputli Colony, Shadipur Depot, in New Delhi, home to a host of talented artists like the Indian puppeteers, sword-swallowers and folk dancers - jewels that adorn the Indian heritage which have been pushed to the verge of extinction due to lack of audience.

Professional problems like seasonal nature of work, lack of education, lack of a basic organisational structure, restricted market exposure and internal wage cutting have forced them to live in deplorable conditions.

The project can broadly be divided into two phases:

// Phase 1 : PILOT

Comprises the phase which began with 4 artists, who after the requisite training and successful collaborations with established theatre groups, went on to stage 20 shows and 3 workshops across Delhi.

// Phase 2: EXPANSION

Establishing brand value and sustainable contracts with even management companies, fair organisers and cultural institutions by undertaking effective marketing for the theme based shows built by the team – now scaled up to 14 puppeteers.

Our business model starts with identification of low-income puppeteers, development of their script- building skills by professionals, and exposing them to varied forms of puppetry to broaden their horizons. They, then develop puppet shows based on social or environmental themes. They also conduct various puppet making workshops for ball puppets, sock puppets and Bunraku puppets. About 4 workshops and 7 stalls have been successfully held.

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// Triple Botton Line Impact

// Our Vision

Economic

The Farmers’ Market has engaged 40 farmers and helped raise Rs. 7.2 lakh for them. The markets have also provided vegetables to consumers directly and thus eliminated both the Aarti commission and Mandi Tax and subsequently the produce at cheaper prices to consumers.

 

Social

We strive to ensure that farmers are not exploited by middlemen and earn a fair price for their crops. The Farmers’ Market has also helped the farmers learn valuable marketing and management techniques as all the markets were managed by them. Furthermore we helped provide fresh produce to 8 colonies on a regular basis.

 

Environmental

The Farmers’ Market discourages the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, most of the farmers associated with this project are moving towards organic farming. Two of our farmers are in the process of having their produce certified as completely organic.

Consumers who do not bring plastic bags are given a 5% rebate. We provide paper bags which have been made by the children of the colonies.

Through The Farmers’ Market we envision to create a stable and sustainable system wherein the FPO can set up markets themselves and cater to bulk demand avenues. Our aim is to help the farmers who toil day and night, to earn an income that is fair and just which can support them and their families.

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