Impact of Covid-19 on the Traditional Handicrafts of Assam: A Study of <i>Japi</i> Making Craft
Keywords:COVID-19, Pandemic, Handicraft, <i>Japi</i> Making Craft.
AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown declared on March, 2020 have led to an economic slowdown in India that adversely affected different sectors of the economy. The industrial sector, especially the handicraft sector, was also hit by the pandemic severely. In the present study, an attempt has been made to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the handicraft sector, especially the japi making craft of Assam. The study was conducted by undertaking a field study in Nalbari district of Assam through telephonic interviews and analyses have been done by descriptive statistics. The study finds that the japi making craft provided employment opportunities to a large number of people both directly and indirectly but the economic condition as reflected by the Gross Value Addition (GVA) of most of the units is not good.The study found that the japi making units of the study area were badly hit by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, through termination or reduction of production due to shortage of labour, capital and raw materials, fall in the demand for the product, lack of market, restriction of transportation and lack of storage facilities. The timing of the lockdown was particularly unfavourable for the japi making industry. Consequently, the artisans of the craft were pushed into a miserable situation.
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