We believe, there are friends to be made, artisans to be encouraged, culture to be exchanged and above all, conserve our heritage crop and create more employment at rural sector.
Krishikala is an initiative of Sahaja Samrudha for the conservation of traditional crop varieties and their many art forms. Krishikala facilitates and provides training to farmers, women, and rural artisans to produce artistic value additions from crops which are neglected, undervalued, or facing extinction. Krishikala is the storefront for these eco-goods, art and craft items based on agricultural products. Currently, Krishikala is focused on the revival of India’s vast array of traditional bottle gourd varieties.
Industry and consumer support for agri-based art products, like those from bottle gourds, generates much-needed employment and income for rural women, insures rural livelihoods and provides economic sovereignty for families and communities, safeguards traditional culture and regional art forms, maintains diverse and robust biodiversity, and promotes ecological and sustainable practices for overall health of land and people.
Presently, Krishikala is the storefront for the many agri-products derived from traditional bottle gourds, including: vases, bowls, kitchen and office containers, Kitchen utensils, lampshades, lanterns, wall and hanging décor, children’s dolls, and seed jewelry. These products match form, function, and sustainability. They offer an alternative to harmful plastics and to industrial products, both of which pollute the environment.
Growing and marketing edible crops is common, but transforming them into art form and then marketing them is a different idea altogether. When the value and market is created for a variety then the variety is secured, safeguarded and used.
Krishikala started in January 2018, is a wing of Sahaja Samrudha, an NGO working on revival and conservation of agro biodiversity across India for over two decades. Apart from just driving farmers to conserve and market traditional crops grown organically, Sahaja always wants to motivate and support community level value addition initiatives. The organisation is indirectly supporting creative farmers and artisans who are working on different agri-based art forms. We are trying to create a common platform to launch their products to the market by building a trusted brand. To start we have chosen gourd craft , as we have witnessed different varieties of gourds in our farmers’ fields.
Krishikala, a first of its kind in the country, focuses on preserving agricultural biodiversity by creating a unique form of “agri-art” to conserve rare varieties of bottle gourd that are on the verge of extinction.
We even train women groups to create these value additions that are agri-based art forms and empower them for the betterment of their livelihood. We also create employment for rural artisans and youngsters at their villages inorder to promote different agri-based crafts using their ancestral skills.
Sree Seema, The Founder
Commonly recognised as “Sore Seema” (Gourd Seema), seema is a B.Com graduate who worked at software companies and shifted to a profession to serve rural communities.
Working closely with farmers for nearly a decade and a half and experiencing rural wisdom, seema witnessed many interesting crafts and simple toys, embedded in the culture and talent. Seema believes that supporting and providing an exposure to these farmers and rural artisans to showcase their skills, would make their life better, and thus emerged Krishikala.
Seema lives in Mysore with her husband Krishna Prasad G, son Ruthuparna K and her pet dog Frodo. Seema is also an avid writer and has written numerous articles. Seema also enjoys cooking and traveilling in her free time.