Need to save indigenous art forms from dying, says Lakshmi Manchu
Navratri, which is observed in the honour of Goddess Durga, marks the beginning of the festive period. For Lakshmi Manchu, it is the time to celebrate femininity and embrace the inner Goddess that resides within every woman. “Navratri is a celebration of the feminine and the woman kind. It is an auspicious period. I feel that the Devi is looking after me and blessing me and She is in me,” says the actor-producer.
But this festival is more special for her this time. To revive the livelihoods of artisans, embroidery workers, weavers and tailors who have suffered losses due to the on-going pandemic, Manchu has joined hands with her mother and launched a set of nine handloom sarees ahead of Navratri.
She shares, “My mom’s a saree designer. She had a store but had to close it during the pandemic. It didn’t land on her very well because it was like her fourth baby for almost 15 years. This initiative is also to revive her creative juices.”
The 44-year-old adds, “The pandemic has hit a lot of people very harshly, including embroidery workers, weavers, dyers and tailors. Mom is trying to connect and put as many people to work as possible.”
A supporter of indigenous art, the Pitta Kathalu actor believes that the onus lies on public figures to resuscitate it. “On an individual level, when you make small choices in terms of the clothes that you buy and wear, it improves the condition of our weavers and artisans. They are minimum wage workers who give us exquisite work. The fact that they aren’t being able to feed their families is heart-breaking. I think public figures like us need to get more conscious because we need to save the planet and its people by not letting our exquisite art forms dies,” Manchu ends.