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SANDUR – Kushala Kala Kendra
Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra (SKKK) had its beginnings when twelve local Lambani women, from the thanda of Susheelanagar, were brought together to work as a group. The year was 1984 and this modest initiative heralded the start of a significant change in the lives of not only the Lambanis, but also other traditional craftspeople who lived in and around Sandur. Today, about 500 artisans work with SKKK. It has helped twenty self-help groups to become active. And local craftspeople are benefiting from, and growing with, the organisation.
SKKK owes its existence to the initiative and involvement of the Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Limited (SMIORE) and its Chairman Emeritus, M.Y. Ghorpade, who also held the portfolios of Finance Minister and Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in the Karnataka government. SKKK’s objectives were manifold: encouraging the revival of indigenous crafts, ensuring a better life for the people who made them, finding new markets and making the crafts more relevant to modern tastes. The society is actively involved in the process of production, marketing and development activities of the artisans and crafts like cane & bamboo, stone & wood carving, traditional hand block printing, natural dyeing etc. National and State awards are becoming a habit of SKKK’s Lambani craftswomen. More than twenty self help groups are actively working for SKKK.