Rishabh Khosla 28th April, 2021

Lending a Hand in the Crisis

As the Coronavirus pandemic has raged across India, we have thought a lot about how we can possibly help our fellow citizens, particularly those that have the most limited means.

Our first priority as the things began to get worse in April was to ensure the safety and health of our team spread across 3 states. Safely closing our stores, re-housing our warehouse staff, and ensuring our studio and operations team had the support they needed. The crisis hit close to home for many of us, as loved ones, close family, and friends fell sick - and some - seriously.

We also have been closely in touch with our network of creative partners – artisans and producers around the country – many of them in rural areas badly hit by the present crisis. We’re working with some of our smaller producers and family-run units to support them financially and in others ways.

Through our conversations with people on the ground in all parts of the country, we’ve also heard stories of immense camaraderie and human decency, as local communities have mobilized urgent responses with the help of existing network of NGOs, charitable organizations, and the local panchayats. When India can’t breathe, so many have stepped up to find air, equipment, and medicine for those most struggling to find it.

It also become clear that as we were in no position to directly procure medicines and oxygen for relief, we would need to find other ways to help these communities. At Freedom Tree we have partnered with Creative Dignity to help artisans and their largely rural communities face the challenges of COVID-19. Creative Dignity is a voluntary movement formed to energize the artisan eco-system and provide relief, rehabilitation, and rejuvenation in a COVID and post COVID world. Now, in the middle of our worst health crisis, they need our support more than ever.

Artisans face the dual threat the pandemic poses to their lives and livelihoods. In addition to being stranded without sustenance, many face the hazards of a devastating health crisis without access to basic care necessities and verified medical advice. With state health infrastructures under strain, Creative Dignity sets out to make sure artisans and their families are armed with the knowledge of how to prevent and treat COVID-19, are better prepared for home isolation, and have the supplies and sustenance they need to survive.

With Creative Dignity, we’re currently working hard to support our artisans in every way possible. Local communities, non-profits and artisan groups are mobilizing care facilities and on the ground support in partnership with the network. Posters and helplines for COVID awareness and isolation procedures, medical kits and ration packs for vulnerable communities in nine states across India.

Learn more about the Creative Dignity movement >>

Donate to the Artisan Relief Fund >>

Sign up to Volunteer your time >>

You can help join us by donating to the Artisan Covid Relief Fund which is providing relief and care kits. You can also sign up to be a volunteer with Creative Dignity and give a few hours every week to engage with the artisans, support the programs and help sustain the network.

100% of donations will reach vulnerable artists at their time of need.

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While we are heartbroken to see the devastation spreading through the country and the world. But are even more encouraged by the coming together of our civil society to help. We want to thank those who are doing something to help, and we pray for the health and safety of everyone’s friends, family, and communities.