Posts Tagged ‘Gujarat’

Known for his 33-year contribution to IIMA, Bakul Dholakia has 42 years of professional experience. Currently serving as an Advisor to Adani Group, he is a man of finances and economics. Dr. Dholakia is a Gold Medalist from Baroda University and he has a Doctorate in Economics.

THE 42 YEARS

Presently Bakul Dholakia is the financial advisor of Mr Gautam Adani, of the Adani group of industries and The Director of Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj and Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management, Ahmedabad.
Bakul Dholakia was the ninth director of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from October 2002 to October 2007. Today, he continues to teach Economics at the institute.
During the tenure, Dr. Dholakia occupied the Reserve Bank of India Chair from 1992 to 1999.
He was Dean, IIM A from April 1998 to June 2001.
He had earlier served as the Chairman of the MBA Program and also as the Chairman of Economics Area.
Prior to joining IIMA, Dr. Dholakia was a faculty at Maharaja Sayajirao University.

JAWDROPPING ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Under the able leadership of Dr. Dholakia, IIM-A went from having 12 partner institutions for student exchange programs to 50 by 2006-07.
  • He initiated the one-year program for management executives and the students in this batch got the highest salaries offered that year, right from the first batch.
  • In November 2003, the Common Admission Test (CAT) papers got leaked for the first time in the 43-year history of the IIMs. IIM-A, which was the coordinator for the exams, came under severe criticism but Dr. Dholakia insisted that there was no way the papers could have leaked from the IIMA, and that is how the investigation got focused on the role of the printing press in Mumbai.
  • Dr. Dholakia made Brand IIMA self-sufficient. The then HRD Minister Mr Murli Manohar Joshi had decided to ask the IIMs to cut their fees by 80 per cent. Dr.  Dholakia opposed this and as a mark of protest, he rejected the Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) grant IIM-A got from the ministry.
  • Dr. Dholakia has highly researched areas like energy sector, fishery sector in India, economic planning, public enterprise management and privatization program.
  • He has guided 19 PhD students specializing in Economics, Finance, Business Policy and Public Systems at IIMA.
  • Dr. Dholakia is the author of 12 books, 28 monographs and more than 50 research papers published in professional journals in India and abroad.

 

POSITIONS HELD

  • Since 2005, Dr. Dholakia has been rated as one of the most powerful personalities of Gujarat by various media groups
  • Board Member of Reserve Bank of India Western Area Board from 1993 to 2001
  • He is a Consultant to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank
  • Government of India appointed Dr. Dholakia as the Chairman of the National Board of Accreditation for Technical Education in India (2005-2008)
  • The Global Foundation for Management Education (GFME), jointly formed by the Associations of American and European Business Schools, has nominated Dr. Dholakia as a Member of the Board of GFME representing Asia
  • Dr. Dholakia has served as the External Director on the Board of public and private sector companies
  • He has worked on Rangarajan Committee on Pricing and Taxation of Petroleum Products (2006) and the Expert Group on Pension Fund constituted by the Government of India (2009)
  • He has also been a member of the Jury for various Corporate Excellence Awards and Selection Committees for CEOs

Apart from all these, Bakul Dholakia is associated with various companies like ONGC, Arvind, Ashima, Torrent Power and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. 

ACCOLADES

An icon like Dr. Dholakia cannot go unnoticed. He deserves many more awards and recognitions. Some of the bestowed accolades include:

  • Padma Shri for Literature and Education in the year 2007
  • Best Professor Award for his teaching in the Post-Graduate Program at IIMA
  • Bharat Asmita National Award by the Honorable Chief Justice of India in 2008
  • Honored by the Association of Indian Americans in North America (AIANA) at the World Gujarati Conference in New Jersey for his Visionary Leadership and Achievements in business education, in 2006
  • Honored by Global Associations of Business Schools for contribution in the field of management education

Bakul Dholakia is a motivator through his work and values. He is the guiding force behind numerous initiatives and a man of management. His vision and strategic leadership have contributed a lot to the field of education in India.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=Man%20Of%20Management:%20Bakul%20Dholakia_726

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From being a University dropout, to having his own University, Gautam Adani is the first billionaire from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. We have heard of success stories of people with the highest degrees, hierarchy of business, monetary power or a healthy circle of friends and family. But if we observe keenly, the supreme success stories are tagged ‘rags to riches’. Similar is the story of Gautam Adani, the 6th richest person in India, with a personal wealth of US $10 billion.

THE WHIZ KID

Gautam Adani was born to a Gujarati Jain family of Shantaben and Shantilal Adani on 24 June 1962, in Ahmedabad. The family had migrated to the city from the smaller place called Tharad in northern Gujarat, in search of means to earn a decent living for their eight children. Needless to say, the monetary situation was very tight. Gautam had a few hundred rupees on hand at the age of 18, when he set out to the land of dreams, Mumbai in search of a living.

Gautam was a student of Seth CN Vidyalaya and later dropped out of the Gujarat University, where he was pursuing second year for his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. He started his career as a diamond sorter at Mahindra Brothers in Mumbai. After working for two years, Gautam set up his own diamond brokerage unit at Zaveri Bazaar, the biggest jeweler market of the city. It was here that he earned his first lakh.

THE BIZ KID

In 1981, one year later, his elder brother Mansukhbhai, bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and asked Gautam to run it. This marked his advent in the field of global trading as he started importing polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a key raw material for manufacturing plastics.

After the economic liberalization in India, the import duty on various goods was slit. This had a positive impact on the profits of Adani Exports, then the flagship company of Gautam Adani. Today, the Adani Group has transformed into a multibillion-dollar business empire. Under the leadership of Gautam Adani, the Group has emerged as a diversified Energy and Logistics conglomerate with interests in Power Generation & Transmission, Coal Trading & Mining, Gas Distribution, Oil & Gas Exploration, along with Ports, Special Economic Zones et al. The Group also runs the Adani Foundation, started in 1996 as a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The foundation is involved in various activities such as rural development, education and health.

Today, the flagship of his Rs 27,000-crore empire, Adani Enterprises Ltd., has been rated among the 50 top performing Asian companies by Forbes magazine. His three listed companies – Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone have a combined market capitalization that places the group among India’s top 10 business houses.
Listed by the Forbes in March 2011, Gautam Adani is also the proud owner of two private jets – a Beech craft jet purchased in 2005 and a Hawker purchased in 2007.

PERSONAL PROXIMITY

Gautam is happily married to Mrs. Priti Adani, a dentist by profession. She heads the Adani Foundation as the managing trustee. The couple has two sons, the elder one, Karan Adani, is 20 years of age and the younger one, Jeet Adani, is 10 years of age. The elder son is presently pursuing his Business Studies in Management at the Purdue University, USA.
Adani Group has been a generous contributor to Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). Also, Gautam has proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. It was speculated that Adani bid for the Ahmedabad franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament at Modi’s urging, though the bid failed.

LESSONS OF SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS

Gautam Adani is an icon of unwavering focus and continuous learning. He has set up milestones in his journey towards a strong and energy-sufficient India. Gautam has proved that the best learning comes from the most unconventional real-life situations, where everyone has to learn to first survive before achieving success.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=Self%20Made%20Billionaire%20:%20Gautam%20Adani_660

GUJARAT IS HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST EXOTIC EMBROIDERIES. LET US SAVE THEM, KNOW THEM AND ADORE THEM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

Gujarat is better called Manchester of the East. It has been involved in textiles since centuries. Almost all parts of the state have a unique style of textiles, weaving and embroideries. All the creations have a versatility that makes the embroideries famous all over the world.

SAURASHTRA AND KUTCH

The most important centers of embroidery work of Gujarat are located in the Saurashtra and Kutch regions and are admired for their creative excellence. Kutch, being a desert, there are less chances to celebrate life. But the way people live is really varied and appreciable. The women add colors to life and create innumerable opportunities to celebrate everyday life through their arts. A striking feature of the Kutch embroidery is that at a very early age, the girls acquire the embroidery skills and they prepare their own wedding garments. These exclusively created embroidered works are then sent to the in-laws for closer examination, which is one of the important criteria for deciding matrimonial alliances!

Saurashtra, on the other hand, is home to the oldest form of embroidery, Kathi, which is known for its romantic motifs.
The designs and the techniques vary with the communities and regions. Apart from this, the embroidering is a source of second income for most of the nomads, wives of the herdsmen and agriculturalists of Gujarat.

DIFFERENT PATTERNS AND ARTIFACTS

The artisans of Gujarat use an array of stitches that are used to decorate the items. The embroidery of Gujarat is highly praised for the distinct quality of raw material and the creations follow an excellent technique. The embroidery work done by the people of Gujarat thus displays the artisanship of the local artisans. These deserve promotion and acceptance.

Whenever we visit Kutch or Saurashtra, let’s make it a point to bring home these colors of life!

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=A%20Stitch%20In%20Time%20Saves%20Nine_619

THE STORY OF THE SIMPLE YEARNING, SELFLESS CHURNING AND SUBLIME LEARNING OF DR. JIVRAJ MEHTA

First Chief Minister of Gujarat, pioneer of Medical Education in India, pioneer of Hospital Organization in India, personal doctor to Gandhiji – Dr. Jivraj Mehta. He was the architect of not only his own life, but he lent a new direction to the medical science of India.

EARLY LIFE, ACADEMICS

Jivraj Narayan Mehta was born on 29th August 1887 in Amreli, a small town in Saurashtra in Gujarat. His family struggled to make two ends meet. But this could not obstruct the goals and the spirit of Dr. Mehta. This spirit was further shored up, thanks to the strong influence of his grandmother, a woman of drive and determination, and to the encouragement of his schoolteacher Apte Sahib. He often studies under the streetlights. He also gave tuitions to supplement the family income.
Dr. Mehta took up medicine with the inspiration from Dr. Eduljee Rustomji Dadachandjee, a civil surgeon in Amreli. He secured admission into the Grant Medical College and Sir J.J. Hospital, Bombay. His medical education was sponsored by the Seth VM Kapol Boarding Trust. He was also endowed with the Jamkhande scholarship -a scholarship that was reserved for the poorest of the freshly admitted students.
Dr. Mehta topped his class in medicine. In his final year, he won seven of the eight prizes open to his batch and shared the eighth prize with his hostel roommate Kashinath Dikshit. He further, acquired a prestigious fellowship from the Tata Education Foundation and pursued masters from London Hospital Medical College. Mehta lived from 1909 to 1915 in London. He was the president of the Indian Students Association in London where he studied medicine and did his FRCS there. He was a junior doctor in the Out-Patients Department of The London Hospital before working in The London Hospital Pathological Institute as Pathological Assistant. He won University gold medal in his MD examinations in 1914. Later, in 1915 he had been made a member of the prestigious Royal College of Physicians of London.

FROM A DOCTOR TO A NATIONALIST

Following his British education, he returned to India and entered into private practice that was quite rewarding. After leaving London, Dr Mehta returned to India, where he married Hansa, kin to the Diwan of Baroda. Meanwhile, he came in touch with Gandhiji and served as his personal doctor. He served many positions like:

  • The first ‘Dewan’ (Prime Minister) of the erstwhile Baroda state in free India, sworn-in on September 4, 1948
  • Director General of health services
  • Secretary to the Ministry of health
  • Minister of public works, finance, industry and prohibition for the then province of Bombay
  • First Chief Minister of the newly formed Gujarat state from April 1960 to September 1963
  • Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom (1963–66)

MEDICAL SERVICES

Dr. Jivraj Mehta was the founder-architect of Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. He devotedly served the cause of these institutions in the unenviable post of their first Dean over an eventful period of 18 years (1925-42). He was thrice elected president of the All India Medical Congress and president of the Indian Medical Association.
Dr Mehta’s suggestions, based on his London Hospital experiences, for the organization of the new hospital were radically different from the traditional design of teaching hospitals in India, where each department tended to be located in isolated blocks. He suggested that the whole medical college be housed in one building, encouraging co-operation between different departments. Also at Dr Mehta’s suggestion, the KEM Hospital was the first in India to have the Out-patients Department housed within the main hospital building. Here the first heart transplant and the birth of the first test-tube baby in India were to take place and the medical school became one of the most successful in India.

When Dr. Jivraj Mehta died in 1977, aged 91, a hospital in Ahmedabad was named after him.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=The%20Saga%20Of%20Perputal%20Struggle_620

Karsanbhai Patel – the man who shattered all the business theories, to rewrite new ones. He is the legendary behind the hugely successful brand, Nirma. He is the driving force behind a large number of companies and institutions in India under this banner.

BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE

Dr. Karsanbhai Khodidas Patel was born in 1945, into a farmer family from Ruppur, Mehsana, North Gujarat. At the age of 21, he completed his B.Sc in Chemistry. Karsanbhai started his career with the New Cotton Mills of the Lalbhai Group, in Ahmedabad, as a lab technician. He later joined the Geology and Mining Department of the State Government.

SABKI PASAND NIRMA

Karsanbhai started Nirma as an after-office business in the backyard of his house in 1969. The name came from his daughter Nirupama’s name. Nirma was a benchmark.

• The detergent was phosphate free.

• The packs were handmade.

• They were delivered at the doorstep by Karsanbhai, on his bicycle while going to his work place, which was 17 km from his home.

• They were sold for Rs. 3 per kg, which was one-third of the then least priced popular detergents.

• Even at this price, he managed to give a money back guarantee with every pack that was sold!

• The detergent was environment friendly too.

• The process of detergent production was labor intensive and this gave employment to a large number of people.

Also, the story of Nirma has become a classic marketing case study. Karsanbhai identified a massive market segment that was starving for a good-quality detergent at an affordable price. Nirma became a huge success. During that time, the domestic detergent market was limited only to the premium segment and there were very few companies, mainly the MNCs, which were into this business. And so, Karsanbhai could successfully target the lower and middle income groups.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

It was after three long years that Karsanbhai felt confident enough to quit his job for the further development of Nirma. He set up a shop at a small workshop in an Ahmedabad suburb. Later he said: “The lack of any such precedent in my family made the venture fraught with fear of failure. But farmers from North Gujarat are known for their spirit of enterprise.”
And within a decade, Nirma was the largest selling detergent in India. It gave the bigger established brands like Unilever and Procter & Gamble, a run for their money and soon occupied the top market share. In the 1980s, Nirma moved ahead of Surf, a detergent by HLL, a giant in the field.

After establishing its footprints in the economy-priced detergents, Nirma entered the premium segment, launching toilet soaps: Nirma bath & beauty soaps and a premium detergent, Super Nirma. The company also ventured into shampoo and toothpaste, but were not as successful. On the other hand, the edible salt Shudh is doing well.

Nirma beauty soap is one of the leading toilet soaps, behind Lifebuoy and Lux. Overall Nirma has a 20% market share in soap cakes and about 35% in detergents. The company got listed on the stock exchanges in the year 1994.

Today, Nirma has entered the neighboring countries’ markets as well. In the national market, Nirma’s soaps and detergents sell through two million retail outlets. In 2004, it expanded into pharma by acquiring an IV fluid factory in Ahmedabad. The company also acquired US based Searles Valley Minerals to become one of the top producers of soda ash in the world.
Karsanbhai’s two sons and his son-in-law are now at leading positions in the Nirma organization.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Along with being a noted businessman, Karsanbhai is a philanthropist as well. He has established one of the premier institutions of higher learning in Gujarat, the Nirma University of Science & Technology in 2003. Apart from this, Nirma Education & Research Foundation (NERF) that came up in 1994, runs these various educational institutes. Nirma has also set up Nirma labs in 2004, which prepares aspiring entrepreneurs to face different business challenges effectively. Nirma also runs Nirma Memorial Trust, Nirma Foundation and Chanasma Ruppur Gram Vikas Trust as a part of their efforts of a socially responsible corporate citizen.

ACCOLADES

On this path to success, Karsanbhai has won himself many accolades, along with people’s acceptance and love.

• Padma Shri Award for the year 2010.
• In 2001, Karsanbhai was awarded an honorary doctorate by Florida Atlantic University.
• In 1990, the Federation of Association of Small Scale Industries of India (FASII), New Delhi, awarded him the ‘Udyog Ratna’.
• The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce has felicitated him as an ‘Outstanding Industrialist of the Eighties’.
• He has served twice as Chairman of the Development Council for Oils, Soaps and Detergents.

The company that started as a one-man-army, today employs more than 15000 people, has a turnover of more than $ 500 million, sales as high as 800000 tonnes and the man’s net worth as per Forbes in 2005 was $ 640 million.

Challenging established multinationals needs extreme courage and to win in the long run needs foresight and skills. Karsanbhai has fulfilled this challenge and he made the multinationals to follow Nirma and introduce substitutes such as Wheel. He is a man to be followed. He teaches us a lesson that entrepreneurs can build their empire on gut feeling too, rather than just following the classical patterns taught in business schools.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=The%20Spirit%20Of%20Enterprise:%20Dr.%20KarsanBhai%20Patel_604

A LOOK INTO THE ORIGIN, CULTURE, LIFESTYLE AND THE UNIQUE ‘MASK DANCE’ ACUMEN OF THE KOKNA TRIBE OF GUJARAT

Gujarat is a land where hundreds of different tribes have come and established themselves with their culture and lifestyle. As a famous Gujarati saying goes, these tribes have settled here just like the sugar settles within a bowl of milk! It has always been interesting to know more about different people, their cultures and traditions. The anthropologists who have studied various tribes of Gujarat, say that the tribe named ‘Kokna’ is worth to make a note of, among others. Also known by alternative names like Kokni, Kukni or Kukna, the tribe is considered a scheduled one.

KOKNA CONNECTIONS

Most of the tribes that have settled in Gujarat, just like the Kokna, belong to the Neolithic era. It is believed that the hermitic people of Egypt were the ancestors of the Kokna tribe and the stories of their existence date back to the prehistoric times. Kokna used a square stone pillar with half moon shaped top for capital punishment, resembling a pillar in the Egyptian pyramids. This practice confirms the belief.

However, the name Kokna is derived from the word ‘Kankan’, that is an armlet worn by the tribe. Some people, on the other hand, believe that the name comes as they migrated to Gujarat from some part of Konkan in the olden times, which is the western coastal belt of Maharashtra. The area between the coastal line and the Sahyadris was the original abode of the Kokna tribal community.

THE KOKNA SETTLEMENTS

In Gujarat, the Kokna tribe is concentrated at Dharampur, Vansda, Valsad and the Dangs.

Some researchers mention that it is from the ancestral, ancient speeches of the Kokna that the origin of the contemporary Kokni language has actually taken shape. This is their native language, a dialect of Marathi. But they also speak Hindi and Gujarati.

The Kokna community is divided into ‘kuls’ or clans. Monogamous, they have a strong sense of united families and community. However, with the modernization and occupational mobility, the concept of nuclear families is fast moving into all the tribes. But, when outside their village, they move in groups.

LIFESTYLE

Kokna tribe can easily be distinguished from other Gujarati tribes. It has an unique attire. The women of this community wear saree and ‘fadki’. They cut the saree into two halves. The upper half is called fadki and the lower part of the body is covered by the saree. Sometimes they also use blouse or lehenga along with the fadki. The males get into a Khadi headdress, jacket, coat and langot with gold rings in the ears. The langot is an essential sign of their culture.

The Kokna women are very fond of ornaments made of white metal, lead and iron or silver. They use the traditional necklaces and other ornaments even today. They also wear flowers and tattoos.

Another major attraction of the Kokna tribe is their houses. The walls are built with mud and whitewashed. The roof comprises of thatched grass and the houses have no windows. Pucca houses are rare.

THE CULTURAL ESSENCE

The most splendid part of the Kokna tribe is that they celebrate all the major festivals of the Indian Territory, only after adding their own fervor and ritualistic elements. They enjoy Shivratri, Dushera, Navratri and Diwali. But the most exciting among the others is the ‘Bhavada’. This is celebrated at the completion of the harvesting season. The Kokna tribes worship Goddess Kali and before harvesting, worship of Gram Devi is celebrated with festivity and jubilance.

The tribe is considered very religious and worships animals like crocodile and tiger.

WOOD CARVING AND THE MASK DANCE

Bhavada is more special because of its artistic zeal and acumen. The Kokna tribe shapes up masks for this festival which houses the Bhavada Dance. The mask dance is held across a number of villages and only at nights in the summer. Each village has a different set of masks, and sometimes masks are even loaned to villages if they can’t afford to have their own.

The masks are carved out of single pieces of soft wood and then decorated with bamboo strips and colored papers. Bright red, yellow and green in color, they depict Gods and Goddesses like Panch Pandava, Ravana, Ganesh and tribal deities like Kaloba, Mhasoba and Rangatai. Facial expressions, eyebrows, moustaches, cheeks, nose etc. are nicely emphasized in these woodcarvings. Particular families are privileged to do a particular kind of mask. The male members of the family are expected to paint and decorate the mask. Masks may also be made out of cow dung, clay, rice-husks and paper. Every dancer enacts steps typical of the character whose mask he wears, as he dances to the tune of musical instruments like the Sur, Kahali and Sambal.

The art of mimic along with tribal dances still survives in Gujarat. During Holi, Kokna dramatic groups, sometimes using masks, perform in villages with young boys playing female roles laced with wit and humor. Songs of Mahabharata and Ramayana epics are sung to music.

Apart from masks, Kokna tribes are known for their artistic wooden tobacco containers. They are either carved out of wood or made by joining pieces of wood together. A thick coat of lead is applied over the container and then beautiful designs are carved on it. Sometimes, these containers are made into animal shapes like peacock, peahen etc. Apart from wood, these are also made from tough-skinned fruits or seeds.

ALL INCLUSIVE

Gujarat is rich, truly vibrant – be it in terms of economy, development or heritage. All we need to do is move forward in the direction of inclusive growth. Let us look behind the masks, remove our mask of perceptions and grow hand-in-hand!

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=Behind%20The%20Masks_602

THE DYING ART OF NAMDAH – A FELTED, WOOLEN RUG MADE BY THE ARTISANS OF KUTCH IN GUJARAT

Gujarat is a land of rituals and traditions. It is full of hospitality and warmth. It is a place where people move ahead with times, without forgetting their customs. One such custom is sitting on the floor. Be it for the purpose of having meals, socializing or performance of some ritual. And what can be a better treat than a hand-made rug to form the floor covering. A Namdah carpet is one of the known floor coverings made from hand-made woolen sheets and are decorated with traditional embroidery and appliqué designs.

THE STORY BEHIND
Namdah is an Urdu word, a Kashmiri styled carpet adopted by the felt artisans of Kutch. These artisans earlier used to put together animal saddles for royal families. There are many myths attached and many legends narrate that art of making Namdah originated during the time of Chengez Khan, the Mongol. It is said that the king used to carry sheep everywhere he went. His soldiers used to create makeshift beddings for him even at the battlefield. These were made simply by laying layers of wool on top of each other. When they got dirty due to constant use, they were washed with cleansing agents. This resulted in natural felting of the woolen fibers. Thus, the process of felting evolved. Once this process evolved, it was further refined and passed on to the next generation of soldiers.

Another folklore has it that a subordinate weaver first wove a Namdah for the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s horse. It was made in order to save the animal from cold.

The Mongols and the Mughals were the pioneers of the Namdah art in India. As their rule spread, so did this art. They continued this craft in order to have an identity related to that of their rulers. This led to the sowing of the seeds of Namdah craft in Gujarat.

The Pinjara community of Gujarat is known to practice the Namdah art and later they are being known as the Namdagar as well.

NAMDAH NUANCES
Felting is one of the oldest form of fabric known to humankind, predating weaving and knitting. All wool shrinks and entangles itself more and more with other wool fibers when heat, moisture, friction or pressure is applied on them. This results in what is called felting. Felt products are made from coarse wool with or without mixture of any other animal, vegetable or man-made fiber.
Namdah is one such felted textile product. It is made from sheets of beaten wool. It applies non-woven techniques of felting to create these sheets. Layers of compressed wool are then stuck together with natural gum. After being completed, embroidery is executed in woolen yarn. Namdah is well known for its chain stitch embroidery. The chain stitch is worked with silk wool or cotton threads, and the stitches are done with a crochet hook (known as an ari) instead of a traditional needle. This hook can cover a much larger area than a regular needle in the same amount of time and is, hence, more economical to use.

With the advent of competition, pure wool has given way to waste wool in making of the Namdah.

Gujarat is famous for making Namdah that is appliquéd, printed or embroidered. Many motifs like floral themes, amplified birds, human forms, animals etc. are used. Mesmerizing ones even display tree motifs with hunting scenes. Yarns of white, brown, grey, beige or black natural wool are usually used.

THE BEST COMPLIMENT TO ANY DÉCOR
The unique technique, natural effects of the woolen texture and the bright colors give an earthy appeal to the Namdah. It is an all-purpose article, indispensable to daily life. It can be used as a floor bed, pillow, dining table, wall hanging, sofa throws or even corner mats. Apart from these, Namdah products are in high demand in the cold countries as they work as insulators.

Much to the delight of the buyers, Namdah carpets are less expensive than the contemporary woolen ones. They are equally warm, stylish and durable too. Usually, the high proportion of wool marks the high quality of a Namdah.

Namdah is a labor intensive art. It uses almost no modern form of technology. It is a dying art and today just 3-5 families of Gujarat are into it. The dwindling numbers are allegedly due to lack of resources and support from the Government. Also, it is a tedious job and takes at least 15 days to finish a product involving around 10 artisans. So the young generation is not interested in taking up Namdah as a career.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=Feel%20The%20Felted!_584