P-TAL: PUNJAB THATHERA ART LEGACY
P-TAL aims at reviving the dying craft form of the indigenous Thatheras community of Jandiala Guru, Amritsar, who hammer pure brass into unique designs for everyday usage. The craft form has become the only Indian craft to find its name in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The metals used by the Thatheras –copper, brass and certain other alloys- are believed to be beneficial for health.
Earlier, the Thatheras of Jandiala were a prosperous community with a prominent place in Punjab’s trade and commerce. As time passed, due to the onset of changing culture and modernised tastes, the Thatheras lost their stature. Coupled with exploitation by the middlemen (the Kasariyas), increasing competition from aluminium products and the unwillingness of the children of the Thatheras to work in the same profession has caused the demand for the community’s products to dwindle. With the aim of preserving this heritage and to help these Thatheras regain their lost glory, students from Enactus Shri Ram College Of Commerce, a student-run international NFP organisation researched into the community and took the onus to lift them from their atrocities and mould a path of eternal success. The main aim of the students is to encourage the thatheras to act as entrepreneurs than mere labourers. The students thus created a network of designers who have come up with innovative designs in addition to our existing best-seller products, in order to suit the modern day tastes and preferences. Since our products are completely handmade, we can cater to orders requiring customization as well.
The UNESCO listing of the Thatheras has ignited a spark of hope for these Thatheras who as of now see only the dark passage of despair ahead of them. And we at P-TAL aim to ensure that this hope turns into a reality.
Take a look at the story of the Thatheras in their own words: