Express Buzz,Â India
K Shiva Kumar
MYSORE: The handicraft industry of Mysore, famed for its rose inlay works, sandalwood craft and carving, has become the latest victim in the ongoing global financial crisis.
The region has registered a 70 per cent fall in the exports of handicrafts.
The drop in orders from NRIs, particularly from USA and the Gulf, has pushed many artisans to quit their jobs and opt for petty business or construction activities in urban pockets.
Though the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore started Chamaraja Technical Institute in the city to train and encourage artisans in inlay works â€” a brand of Mysore handicraft, the downslide in handicraft business has pushed the craft onto the verge of extinction.
The Fine Arts factory outlets used to have a minimum of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh orders per year from NRIs and foreigners, particularly from the US.
More than 5,000 artisan families worked on sandalwood and rosewood carving and inlay works based on the orders placed to the fine arts companies or to the governmentowned Cauvery Emporium.
The Cauvery Emporium, Mysore, that exported inlay wood products worth Rs 60 lakh during the last year has registered a drastic fall in orders.
Cauvery Emporium Manager V V Shivamurthy admitted that exports reduced by 60 per cent.
He felt that the situation would further worsen as they have no new orders for the financial year.
Ramu, an exporter of rosewood inlaid and carving articles, who had orders for Rs 19 lakh during the previous year has orders worth Rs 2.29 lakh this year.