January 26, 2001.
While many believed that Gujarat would take years to get back to normal, the massive rehabilitation and reconstruction undertaken brought a resilient Gujarat back from the rubble. Bhuj, epicentre of the earthquake, managed to emerge stronger after the disaster. Infact, the pace of development in Bhuj following the disaster has been unprecedented.
If an earlier earthquake in the 19th century is thought to have encouraged many people to leave Kutch and settle overseas, then there is some irony in the fact that the 2001 earthquake brought thousands of NGOs/designers/ social entrepreneurs to the region.
A journey through the region now reveals how it has found new life through crafts, and how tradition has become its route to modernity. The earthquake became the trigger to value what was intrinsically local and unique. It forced communities to reflect urgently on their situation, it articulated directions for communities and crafts empowerment, brought a surge of collective energy to disparate movements preceding it.
6th Oct 2017