Kala Raksha, meaning the preservation of art is an organization formed by Prakash Bhanani in 1993 in Kutch, to preserve traditional art forms of India that are slowly fading in the current scenario. The NGO consists of artisans, community members, rural management and museum. They are a group of 1000’s of women artisans, who expertise in traditional art forms of India traditional art works, especially embroidery. The embroidery artisans of this organization have been carrying out this work for several years now, where they decorate fabric with explicit designs done with needle and thread. Embroidery is a traditional art form with minimal investment done with basic tools like thread, needle, fabric and embroidery hoops. This includes use of needle, threads on the fabric to form, deform or cut holes which are then embellished with embroidery. These designs are curated with inspirations from nature and lifestyle. The organization is Gujarat based, hence the main focus is on Kutch embroidery which is he traditional embroidery of Gujarat.
Kala Raksha aims to collect artisans from different regions, preserve the art form and make it a source of income for them. The traditional art form being Kutch embroidery, is categorised into Khaarek, Paako, Rabari, Suf, Garasia, Jat and Mutava patterened embroideries. Using these embroideries the artisans have now started making face masks for the on going pandemic of Covid 19. These handmade embroidery masks which are double layered are made in Rabari embroidered Khadi cotton. Different techniques of embroidery has been applied. Kala Raksha’s main aim is to promote “buy local” to the crowd, as facemasks are very essential during this time. Embroidery patterns like Suf, a triangle based embroidery pattern; Khaarek, a geomteric embroidery pattern; Paako, embroidery done using chain and buttonhole stitch; Rabari, mirror work done in squares and Jat, which shows Islamic patterns.