LALJI JANGID Rajasthan, in India, is famous for its distinct culture, art forms, and handicrafts. It is here, in Jodhpur city, that Lalji Jangid’s Jangid Handicrafts is based. Lalji Jangid has been a part of this trade for over twenty five years now.
Lalji’s father migrated to India from Pakisthan in search of livelihood Lalji was born in India. He had to struggle in the initial days and could not pursue his schooling since his father had to move from place to place where the work was found.
He specializes in the making of handicrafts that are generally bought for home décor such as mango wood cabinets with different finished and ornamented with brass, iron, and aluminum. Lalji learnt his craft from his father; however, as his father’s work was mostly traditional, Lalji had to improvise. Although the items he makes are decorative, Lalji explains that many of them are also utilitarian; he makes candle stands, photo frames, and boxes. His workshop employs just three artisans and he hires more based on orders.
When Lalji had started off he faced a number of problems. He got very few orders and struggled to find new markets. He used to supply to film studios of in Mumbai small furnitures used for film sets. On one such trip stumbled across a sign board that read Asha Handicrafts. He spoke to the security staff and only came back the next day after he was sufficiently prepared.
He found working with Asha very different: “We (the suppliers) are patients and Asha is our doctor.” He feels he is treated very differently; other buyers simply ignore the difficulties faced by artisans. As an artisan, he feels that it was hard for him to negotiate with such buyers.
Lalji has started to implement Fair Trade practices and feels that with increased capacity he will be able to pass on benefits to his artisans. In the last two years, Lalji has seen his business volume with Asha increase. Now, he can concentrate on settling down and starting a family. With a market assured, he can focus on the quality of his wares.
Lalji has benefitted from capacity building programs conducted by Asha Handicrafts where he learned about quality control and product development.