Vishwakarma community is traditional artisan community with estimated population of 35 lakhs in Karnataka state. The community pursues five distinct artisan professions. They are:
These artisans are present in all the villages, towns and cities. The community from generation to generation adopted only the above artisan professions as their occupation. They did not commercialize their artistic genius. They treated their occupation as divine service. Training in the respective fields commences right from childhood. As such, they are not exposed to any other fields. As the articles created by the community were aesthetic, the community was receiving royal patronage As the articles created by Vishwakarma Community adorn every household. the entire society is its clientele and as such they have rapport with every community. Therefore, the community is basically secular. Thus, the community was enjoying social status and economic stability.
However, now, due to the advent of modern machineries and entry of big business houses which are marketing machine made articles, the community has been suddenly thrown on streets. The machines provide precision; but cannot provide the artistic touch, sheen and splendor that the Vishwakarma geniuses provide. Yet, the foray into their profession is so deep that the Vishwakarma Community is facing severe unemployment and poverty problems. As the community clung only to their professional occupation and not at all exposed to any other field, their survival itself is a matter of grave concern.
There is an urgent need to revive these traditional occupations lest the artistic genius of this community is lost.
Once considered as a economically and socially forward community has now been relegated to the status of being far backward community in the state and the Governments will have to sanction packages to this community to salvage the entire community from the impending disaster, to save the artistic genius of the Vishwakarmas and to upgrade the economic and educational status of the community.
Worried about the plight of the community, Shri Nanjundi Vishwakarma realized the need to organize the community to bring awareness about the impending catastrophe and to work out ways and means to face the reality. He Established Vishwakarma Mahasabha and with his amazing Organizational skills and sincere efforts brought unity in the community. By his efforts, now the community in the state is organized under VISHWAKARMA MAHASABHA.
Under this Mahasabha, there are units in all the villages, Hoblies, Taluks, Districts and cities. Shri Nanjundi Vishwakarma is the President of this Mahasabha. For every 150 members there is a Vice-President. There are 8,000 such Vice Presidents across the State. To strengthen the unity and educate the community to face the realities, Mahasabha has so far convened
265 Hobli Conventions
115 Taluk Conventions
27 District Conventions
25 City Conventions
6 Mahila District Conventions
2 State Level Vishwakarma Jayanthyothsava
2 State Conventions
All the above conventions have been very successfully convened and have created a sensation and hope within the community.
Through the Mahasabha, a fortnightly is published carrying the articles to provide insight into the reality and to bring awareness within the community.
To save the community from total catastrophe and to instill hope, the Mahasabha is making efforts to persuade the Governments to consider and implement the following immediately:
- Provide 3% exclusive reservation for Vishwakarma Community within15% reservation for Backward Classes
- Checkposts and Commercial Tax departments should take stringent actions against smuggling of inferior quality ornaments and black market materials from outside the state.
- Constitute boards/corporations under Department of Industry exclusively for the 5 Vishwakarma crafts i.e. Carpenter Brazier Sculptor Goldsmith and Blacksmith and appoint the Chairman representing the respective field.
- Provide separate sheds in the villages for Blacksmith and Carpenter families
- Reintroduce the order issued by the previous Government on the atrocities on Gold and Silver artisans and stop the atrocities forthwiwth.
- Provide land to Vishwakarma Swamijis in each district and other complementary help to improve the educational status of the community.
- Provide political representation to Vishwakarma Community from Gram Panchayat to Rajya Sabha proportionate to their population.
- Declare Vishwakarma Jayanthi as General Holiday.