The Craftspeople of Khurja - By Niharika Ghosh
The Dadoos Ceramic Group is a family of around 400 artisans who work diligently to create various articles made of ceramic. Mr. Hari Dadoo, the Managing Director of the Dadoos Ceramic Group, holds their work in high regard and believes in their collective vision of making an impact in the world, while staying true to their roots. However, the driving force behind this enterprise are none other than the artisans employed at the Dadoos Ceramic Group. Many of them include middle-aged women from low-income groups who have been trained in the art of making pottery with ceramics. One of the most skilful artisans at Dadoos, a woman named Krishna, has been working there for the past three years. She earns her livelihood by cleaning around 200 ceramic plates a day.
Manju is an accomplished artist who specialises in colouring the ceramic wares and attributing them with both matte and glossy textures. She hails from Delhi where she had been a daily wage earner, after which she got herself associated with this group. Another artisan who had been an integral part of the group for the last 30 years is a woman named Sheela. She had devoted herself to this work since she was a child. To this day, her life has been an extension of the art that she grew up with. Even her daughter was introduced to this craft from a very tender age, and remains a significant member of the Dadoos group. Sheela’s husband is the manager at Dadoos. The entire family is so content with being involved in this craft that they are reluctant to leave this job in search of one with a higher remuneration.
The Dadoos Ceramic Group through its enterprising endeavours, have been successful in engaging the marginalised section of the society, including the womenfolk of the region to participate in reviving its native craft. Khoj.City, in collaboration with the Dadoos Ceramic Group, acts as a catalyst in reinstituting the craft, as well as serving as a means of upliftment of the indigenous community.