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PROTEST Against Neglect of Handmade

Townhall, Bengaluru | 6th May-18 Sun 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

This PROTEST is Continuation of #TaxDenialSatyagraha, where we demanded to zero the GST on all #TheHandmade Products.  They have not fulfilled their promise yet!!!  Come and support for the Handmaking People.
Join this Protest with eminent artists, writers, artisans, citizens ..,

Gram Seva Sangh supports the struggles for sustenance of hand-making people across India, who constitute a majority of its poor, disadvantaged and marginalized. Over the last year, Gram Seva Sangh has been spearheading a movement to enable sustainable livelihoods through better value for handmade products. As part of the movement, the Sangh has organized a wide-ranging Satyagraha across large parts of Karnataka, comprising peaceful protests, padayatras as well as a hunger strike, demanding zero-GST for handmade products.

Why this Protest?

Post independence, our political establishment has completely neglected the betterment of the lives and livelihoods of a majority in the country. As a result, a large number of our toiling countrymen are facing conditions of distress even while their livelihoods are simultaneously becoming untenable.

Widespread mechanization has imposed further difficulties on large sections of the people. It threatens the very survival of the common man while also resulting in a severe erosion of his dignity. It is only in recent years that we are becoming conscious of the consequences of mechanization. A fundamental outcome is the collapse of the markets for handmade products that in turn has destroyed the livelihoods of millions, while providing outsized benefits to a small number of people in the society. This is clearly seen in the rural and urban areas, in the lives of both the ordinary and the super-rich, in India as well across the world.

It is shocking to witness all political parties presenting themselves every five years in the best light through impeccable manifestos (and glowing reports of excellent plans and extraordinary achievements) on behalf of the poor and the marginalized, the villagers, the urbanites, and others in the country. It is equally tragic to witness the ordinary man, who should know better through experience, repeatedly falling for the false promises of the political classes of all parties.

In this context, Gram Seva Sangh has resolved to demand that all political parties deliver on their promises; and wake up to their responsibilities towards the common man. The demand will be placed through a massive protest planned to be held on Sunday, 6th May 2018, at the Town Hall, Bengaluru, between 4:30 and 6:30 PM.

We invite you to attend this important event which is planned as a first in a series intended to enforce responsibility and sincerity on people’s representatives in fulfilling their promises. We urge you to help empower the people of the country through your vigorous participation in this event.

Please note that this protest is NOT against any specific party or government.

Our only demand is that all parties deliver on promises. Immediately.

GRAM SEVA SANGH | Address: Flat # 102, Sheshanivas, 47, 1st Block, 1st Main, Thyagarajanagar, Bengaluru—560 028
Mobile: +91 99800 43911 | Emailgramsevasanghindia@gmail.com
|Websitewww.gramsevasangh.org
Facebook@gramsevasanghindia | Twitter@gramasevasangha

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Development to Displacements on the right-bank of Tungabhadra

Varadapura, a small village displaced nearly 50 years ago, by the Tungabhadra dam had a striking feature – each household had plenty of native cattle and buffaloes. One cowherd we met had 50 cattle. He said they are a family of 26 and the milk they produce is just enough for their consumption and there is usually nothing left to sell.

Day 13
11 February, 2018
Hampapattana

The stretch from Mariammanhalli to Varadapura, our first pit-stop seemed like a land of transition,  along with the landscape even people’s accent and food habits changed. For the first time in our journey from the North, we come across people who eat ragi, but not as much as those who live further south. Most people we spoke to, said they also eat other millets like Navane (Foxtail millet) and Same (Little millet).

Continue reading “Development to Displacements on the right-bank of Tungabhadra”

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Marching through the Hand-sculpted Historic landscape

After a long walk we reached Kanakagiri a new taluk. In the APMC yard we were astounded to see the magnificient and beautifully hand carved stone well – Venkataapathi Bhavi. The well is currently fully dry which enabled us to see the detailed handwork. This is an excellent, ancient example of the rich hand-making culture of this region.

Day 8
06th February, 2018
Kanakagiri

We moved from the Nawabs ruled Hyderabad-Karnataka region to the Vijayanagar empire as we moved towards Kanakagiri. We could see the change in the landscape, crops and architecture of temples with Sufi influence still existing but not as prominent as in Hyderabad-Karnataka.

Continue reading “Marching through the Hand-sculpted Historic landscape”

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Towards Tungabhadra…

Day 9
7 February, 2018
Gangawathi

Just after we set from Kanakagiri early in the morning, we met two Kurubas Jamanna and Lingappa carrying their drums as they were waiting for a bus to their village. They perform drums in village festivals but their regular work is Shepherding, most communities earlier had one or other performing art skills.

Continue reading “Towards Tungabhadra…”

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A blissful morning listening to Putturaj Gavai

Day 7
05th February, 2018
Tavaregera (Tawaragera)

We set off early this morning from Gumgeri, as we had a long distance to cover ahead. Meanwhile, we took a brief stop in a beautiful temple premise in Hanchinala, a village for breakfast.  On the side of the road, beautifully woven tents, pitched in an open field and a group of people,  the nomadic Buda Beda Jangamas  camp site!

Continue reading “A blissful morning listening to Putturaj Gavai”

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The Handmade Splendour of Hampi

Day 10
8 February 2018
Hampi

We set off at 6 am as usual, and with the breaking of the dawn we found ourselves traversing an undulating landscape. We did not meet too many villagers but saw more paddy grown along the way. We also saw a small shrine of Huligemma and a woman priest too. Continue reading “The Handmade Splendour of Hampi”

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Hand-crafting in Dotihal

Day 5 of Padayatra, 
03rd February, 2018 
Dotihal

Culture of Prasada (Sharing of food)

As usual we woke up at 5 AM. At prayer today, in addition to the usual “Raghupati Raghava Rajaram”, there was a beautiful rendering of “Vaishnava jana to” by our volunteer, Nishanth. We left Kandagal at 6 AM. As we moved towards the centre of the village, some people who had gathered near a tea shop enquired about our walk and offered us tea. They also asked us to have prasada today in their village. Sharing of food with guests is considered offering prasada. It is a gesture of warmth.

Continue reading “Hand-crafting in Dotihal”

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The Vibrant Kushtagi Santhe

Day 6 of Padayatra
4th February, 2018
Gumgeri

We set off from Dotihal in the morning, with our heads still reeling from the engaging weaving demonstrations we witnessed.

Pottery items for the kitchen

Around 10am, we reached Kushtagi, which is at the junction of National Highway-50 and State Highway-59, about 50KMs from Koppal. Today being Sunday, the entire town was caught up with the Santhe (fair). In what might have been a large fair, is now divided by the National Highway, and an unheeded flyover at the junction. One side of the Highway is the Cattles section of the fair, and on the other was all farm produce, Millets to Vegetables, Kitchen Stoves to Earthen pots, cleaning items like different kinds of brooms for different types of floors, Apparels, Footwear, everything you will need if you want to settle down in a village.

Continue reading “The Vibrant Kushtagi Santhe”

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In the Fields of Gold | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route

We are perhaps getting too spoilt by the spectacular show the rising and the setting sun, the moon together with this landscape, is putting up everyday.

Day 4 of the Padayatra
2 February 2018,
Kandgal

We started from the Saranamma Tayi MaTha walking seven kilometers along more fields of earthy shades, hints of green and dry gold kissed flowers. Mixed-crops of Kadale, Jola, Kusube in straight rows and Jave Godhi in the peripheral patches, Fields of Gold, indeed! we stopped at Harinapura, for breakfast and short rest under a tamarind tree.

Continue reading “In the Fields of Gold | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route”

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Under the shining Super Moon | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route

Our path was peppered with features of displacement caused by a single dam – from villages to agricultural practices.

Day 3 of the Padayatra
1 February 2018,
Saranamma Tayi MaTha, Sajjalagudda

Starting from Jawoor while the “Supermoon” was still setting, we walked along the high-walled dam area for a good 5km! On the other side of the road were a couple of villages stirring into motion along with the rising sun. Being close to the dam, few crops were grown here, most significantly Paddy, Cotton, Jowar and Chillies.

Continue reading “Under the shining Super Moon | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route”

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On the Banks of Krishna | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route

The setting sun and the golden light left us with melancholic and mixed feelings about the sights the evening had to offer.

Day - 2 of Padayatra
January 31, 2018
Jaawoor

Greetings from Jaawoor! We reached here walking 13 Km from Jogundabhavi. On our way, we stopped at Narayanapur, a displaced village by the Basava Sagara Dam across River Krishna.

Kori Sangameshwara Gudi
Kori Sangameshwara Gudi

We spent most of the day at Kori Sangameshwara Gudi, a picturesque shrine by the banks of the river.

Under the shade of one tamarind and two Neem  trees, this shrine is another example of harmony. The deity is worshiped by both Hindus and Muslims and the sanctum sanctorum is one of the most unique sights we have seen.

Continue reading “On the Banks of Krishna | Tracing Manteswamy’s Route”

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Come to Kodekal | A Unity Convention of the Handmaking People | Tue · Jan 30, 2018

Come to Kodekal!

for

A Unity Convention of the Handmaking People

and

A Long March for the Handmade

Tue · Jan 30, 2018 · 10 am

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Kodekal Basavanna Shrine

Farmers, Weavers, Craftsman, Cowherds, Shepherds, Agricultural workers are all going to congregate at Kodekal for unity. Hindus, Muslims, Christians all are going to congregate there for unity. “Touchables and Untouchables” are both going to congregate there for unity. Students, Youth, Writers, Intellectuals are all going to congregate there for unity.

The unity of handmaking people, after all, has a long tradition. In Karnataka, during the twelfth century, saint Basava brought the handmaking people together. In the Fifteenth century, Saint Kodekal Basava and Saint Kanaka Dasa again brought them together. Manteswamy, another saint poet, took the call of unity, ‘down to the dark state’, as he called it. In the twentieth century Gandhiji and Ambedkar, through their sacrifice, constructed the unity of the handmaking people all over again. Continue reading “Come to Kodekal | A Unity Convention of the Handmaking People | Tue · Jan 30, 2018”

Art of Re-cyclying

 

Art of Re-cyclying

Activist-friends took us to Mochi Hunagund Yallappa’s (of the Muchigeri community) house. Saraswatamma and Manjula, his neighbours who make kavadi/quilts were also there. Traditionally, Muchigeri or Mochi community were involved in sewing kavadi, which is not only handmade but also a recycled product made from old saris and other used cloth.

Continue reading “Art of Re-cyclying”