Post the easing of lockdown, hope floats in the Rann of Kutch
Maji Khan Mutva is a young artisan keeping an old form of art “mudwork” alive. Back in August 2018, we had met him in his village Siniyado, just a few kilometres away from the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat for a video story for the Day One Blog. As the COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses, communities, and thousands of artisans across India, for Maji Khan Mutwa things were no different too.
However, when the lockdown, imposed due to the pandemic, eased about a fortnight ago, and his orders began to ship, a message from him to us read, “Chalo aaj meri khush khabari se start karte hai… orders have begun to ship.”
While the happiness in his message was clearly visible, what was encouraging was to hear him speak about his future plans. “I want to invest more money in this art form and want to empower artisans not just in Kutch but elsewhere too, to learn and spread this art form. Phir Amazon pe dhaamal hoga,” says Maji Khan adding, “Main ‘vocal for local’ mein believe karta hu, as it will help Indian art form survive; but shopping karne wale believe kare to sahi saabit ho!”
Speaking about the lockdown days, he says, "It didn’t affect me personally, because I stay in Siniyado – which is far from the city. We are just a bunch of few families who live here and are used to a secluded life, but business-wise it affected me, just like anyone else. So, I decided to make good use of the lockdown to learn new marketing skills. I enrolled for an online digital marketing class that taught me benefits of SEO, keywords and other small but important things to keep in mind when you have an online business.”
As this artisan starts prepping for new orders and gets his creative juices flowing, we ask him what he feels about the flow of orders and if he is worried that they will slow down, he says, “Hausle buland ho, toh uparwala bhi raaste khol deta hai.” Well, he couldn’t have said it better! We wish him all the best!