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Digitalizing Cooperatives

Gulabi Meenakari (Pink Enameling)

The holy city of Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is home to Gulabi Meenakari or Pink Enameling, an ancient art form. With roots in Persia, this Mughal-era artform is characterised by its unique pink strokes on white enamel engraved in metal.

The artform

In this delicate artform, artisans adorn a metal surface by fusing pieces of different mineral elements over it. Gold was primarily used for this handcrafted metal decoration which is now replaced by silver and copper. Gulabi means pink hence it derives its name from the prominent use of the colour pink which has now evolved into fusion of vibrant colours. In India, the versatile art of enameling surfaces of metal is called "meenakari" and the craftsman "meenakar".

GI Tag

Shrinking demand and infiltration of inauthentic products, led to the disappearance of this rare artform as only 30 artisans were pursuing this craft. To revive its lost glory, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) supported it to be recognised under GI (Geographical Indication) tag in 2015. This recognition ushered a new lease of life for the artisans and opened the doors of national and international markets. Currently around 500 artisans are keeping this unique artform alive.

The gulabi meenakari artform has also received laurels from the US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

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