Artisans are experts in their respective skills but they do not care much about their health; one of the reason being that they can’t afford it and the other is their ignorance or lack of information on these matters. Working with a large number of artisans, we are aware of their sufferings and therefore consider it as our responsibility to support them. In one of our visits to a group of wood-carving artisans in Bijnour we were exposed to some ground realities. These artisans while working get exposed to wooden dust which poses severe health risks related to respiratory diseases like asthma, Tuberculosis, bronchitis and various allergies. Some of the artisans do try cover themselves with cloth to get protected from dust but this is not feasible as the cloth hampers their working. When our team head, Rashmi Dhariwal, saw the working condition of these people, she was taken aback and suggested them to use protection masks while working. She also explained the benefits of using masks to remove the slightest doubts and queries of artisans. The idea was accepted with open arms. Not only this, 600 masks were sent free of cost from SETU’s side to the wood craft artisans of HSSS, Nagina, Bijnour to avoid any economic burden on them.
Now all the artisans use masks while working. This is not only ensuring a healthy working environment but has also resulted in increased output. We are quite happy that our small effort has helped remove some health risks from our artisans lives.