earthquake that hit Gujarat might have faded
away from our memories, but people in and around
Bhuj are still trying to reconstruct their lives
and bring back their tradition. Known for its familiar
Mutva, jet, leather, soof embroidery, Ahir, mirror
work shawls, kapads, torans and pottery, Gujarat
has rich culture and art. But are we aware of the
plight of this art and the artisans after the earthquake?
It killed several skilled craftspeople, uprooted
their frugal homes, destroyed their workplaces,
ruined their goods and caused losses beyond belief.
though we have done nothing for the salvaging and
preserving of traditional Gujarati art, which we
can proudly claim as a part of our heritage, photographer
Basu John Vetteh has tried his best to catch
the rich tradition of Kutch (Highly effected
place in the recent earth quake) through his camera.
Vetteh is now displaying his rare photographs all
over the country, which he took just before the
As part of the display, he recently conducted a
photo exhibition called 'Lifescapes in Kutch'
done by him in the twin cities. He held the
two day exhibition at Apollo Hospitals and
Taj Residency respectively. A former chief
design engineer from IIT Madras, Vetteh has
used his hobby of photography for charitable ends
by donating his talent, time and tireless effort
through 200 photographs taken in April 2000 as part
of a craft documentation project consisting of highly
skilled craftsmen and women creating traditional
embroidery, jewellery, metal and wood work. These
frames effectively convey the simple lifestyles
of the colourful and talented rural folk of Kutch.
So much so, it is evident that Vetteh was deeply
moved by his subjects and his respect and admiration
is noticeable in the faces of the people and the
details of their very existence.
photographs were put up for sale for Rs. 24,000
for a set of three and the proceeds will go directly
to the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Bhuj,
an N.G.O of 7000 rural women. They in turn would
help re-establish one craftswoman and provide support
for one year. "It makes a difference when
you know that the money you donate is being used
for the right purpose and you know by name and face
the person you have personally helped," says