Impact of Covid-19 On Artisans and Craft Enterprise: Part II


This 20-page report presents the findings and recommendations of the All Indian Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association, New Delhi. (AIACA is an organisation involved in advocacy and policy research in the crafts sector.)

The report was published in June 2020, and followed AIACA’s Qualitative Survey with AIACA-Craftmark Members on COVID 19 of April 2020.

A quantitative survey conducted by AIACA – its findings are in this report – aimed to study the impact of the lockdown on India’s crafts sector, especially individual artisans. The survey was administered to 10 individual artisans and 59 craft enterprises across 16 states – Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

The report includes an introduction, a background to the survey, the responses of individual artisans and craft enterprises, their specific demands from the government, AIACA’s recommendations and a glossary.


  1. About 40 per cent of artisans had resumed their production activities from June 1, whereas another 40 per cent said that their activities had remained halted since the lockdown was announced on March 25. And 20 per cent of the surveyed artisans said that they had continued production even during the lockdown.

  2. The survey’s results indicate that the sale and marketing of artisanal and crafts products was badly hit by the lockdown. Roughly 70 per cent of the respondents reported a decline of over 75 per cent in sales. Their orders were either cancelled or put on hold, or both. The value of domestic orders being cancelled was more than that of the export orders.

  3. About 60 per cent of individual artisans and 36 per cent of craft enterprises reported a shortage of raw materials since the lockdown was imposed.

  4. Most craft enterprises surveyed stated that they might have enough working capital for the short run, while nearly 40 per cent said that financial support would be required over the next six months. This is partly to do with the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the report notes.

  5. Roughly 60 per cent of individual artisans and 44 per cent of craft enterprises faced difficulty in raw materials delivery.

  6. Nearly 70 per cent of those surveyed reported that their export shipments were not dispatched.

  7. With national and international markets gradually opening, craft enterprises are re-entering markets with new products like face masks, personal protective equipment kits and other ‘pandemic-related’ products.

  8. AIACA recommends organising ‘virtual trade shows’ where exhibitors can connect with attendees and showcase their products in a virtual space. This could serve as an online version of physical trade shows which cannot be held in the current scenario.

  9. The report suggests implementing and strengthening mechanisms to encourage greater institutional procurement of handmade products and tackle the problem of mounting crafts inventories. This would increase the cash flow in the sector and help  restart production activities.

    Focus and Factoids by Oishika Basak.


All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association, New Delhi


All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association, New Delhi


Jun, 2020