Supporting traditional artists/craftspersons: what the common person can do

Proactive Indian

One Sunday afternoon, after a leisurely lunch hosted by a friend to celebrate his grandson’s graduation in America, a few of us visited a Traditional Arts & Crafts exhibition.

At one of the stalls, our host expressed interest in some small wooden toys, priced at Rs. 50 each, and asked the artisan whether he would offer 5 toys for Rs. 200. I was stunned! Earlier that afternoon, the same gentleman had paid almost Rs. 1,000 per person at lunch without batting an eyelid. I immediately told him that a man who ‘lives life king size’ (he always flies First Class or Business Class, stays at the most expensive hotels, etc.) should not bargain like this. Without another word, he paid Rs. 250 for the 5 toys.

At the next stall, he picked up a painting, turned to me, smiled and asked me in a low voice, “I’m interested in this…

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