by Mandar Kolhapure
The Femila ice cream, Pepsicandy, hide and seek, gully cricket and the art and craft classes. I am speaking about how just a few years back we spent our summer vacations. Today, the trends are changing and children prefer staying indoors playing on the tabs or watching web series. Though many things are changing rapidly, the trend of art and craft classes during summer vacations is still going on, thanks to women like Suchita Patil.
Coming from a middle-class family, Suchita was sent to Mysuru for her schooling somewhere in 1985-86. There she came across some art-related classes and wanted to enroll in the same. Her father managed the fees and she completed the course. She came to Belagavi, started promoting her craft, and soon got an order. However, there was no trend of taking an advance amount for orders during that time. With much difficulty, her father managed the expenses to execute the order and thus she began her journey of arts and crafts. Orders started growing eventually and she started taking art and craft classes for ladies and kids at her place. She got married and continued with the classes at her new place in Belagavi. She joined Kendriya Vidyalaya School and worked there for 6 years but quit the job to continue with what gave her immense satisfaction, the classes.
Today, Suchita makes art products like nameplates, pot painting, designer torans, paper bags, event decoration products, wedding ruqwat items, Madhubani, warli, floral jewelry etc. She is an authorized and special faculty of the Fevicryl brand and she conducts art and craft-related workshops in engineering colleges, fashion designing institutes, schools and ladies clubs. She participates in exhibitions throughout Belagavi and around. She has reached a stage where her stall at an exhibition adds value to the exhibition itself.
Recently she was awarded with ‘Best Udyojini’ title by Aavishkar and that made her father very proud and happy as her daughter had made the right use of the opportunity given to her. He in turn gifted her a smartphone. She quickly learned to use the smartphone and exhibited her products to the world. She learned how to make the right use of social media to get more orders. Today, her products get more likes and shares than our profile pictures do. With this, she got orders from Australia, United States, and Dubai and also from many cities across India.
In times of modernization where trends are changing so quickly and handmade products are been replaced by composite plastic made products, Suchita has kept the demand for art and handicrafts products alive in Belagavi. Thanks to her classes, else the art and craft sector would also become a part of history, just like the Femila ice cream.