dhya Crafts Organization (ACO), is a not-for-profit organization, works at the grassroots level for the sustainable development of artisans and their communities. With an aim to foster socio-economic empowerment, ACO mobilizes artisan communities into ‘Microenterprises’. These ‘Microenterprises’ amalgamate the key aspects of Self-Help-Groups and Producer-led units.

ACO focuses on urbanizing handicrafts including non-mainstream art-forms such as Sanjhi, Pattachitra, Terracotta, etc. The organization currently works with artisans spread across six different states – Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Orissa, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh – to develop handcrafted lifestyle utilities.

Pivotal to the aim of sustainable development of artisans is the four-spoke approach that ACO adopts. This approach spans across four focus areas viz.:
  • Economic Empowerment: ACO ensures economic empowerment of the artisans by increasing their livelihood
    • This is achieved by equipping them with new handicraft designs, providing fair wages to the artisans, and maximizing the artisans profits by eliminating the middle men
  • Social Empowerment: ACO through its flagship program of establishing Micro-enterprises equips artisans with basic skill-set to flourish in the social fabric
    • Through this Micro-enterprise. the artisans are offered a slew of trainings ranging from basic art-form training to entrepreneurial development training
  • Community Development: ACO is instrumental in developing the communities/societies of member artisans
    • The different community development activities undertaken by ACO include raising education level, improving healthcare conditions, enhancing water and sanitation facilities, etc.
  • Raising Awareness: ACO attempts to raise awareness about the artisans and the artforms primarily through the 'Know Your Artisans (KYA)' stories that narrate the story of an artisan and his/her connection with the art-form
    • Additionally, ACO is one of the few organizations that leverages the collective intelligence of masses through crowd-sourcing answers to artisan related issues

Developed by Ashwin Ravichandran