In an era driven by machine-made products, Mitra Craft brings you a world of unique, traditional, indigenous, handmade treasures from the interiors of Odisha.

Our mission is to elevate awareness and appreciation of crafts as an integral part of society’s cultural, social and economic wellbeing.

Our vision is a world where craftsmanship and its’ inherent skills are valued and appreciated at every level of society.

Our purpose is to strengthen the unique cultural heritage of our tribal, rural and women artisans.

At Mitra Craft, we believe in handmade products that supports collaborative and sustainable design. We deeply respect the traditional work techniques of artisans and the time it takes them to make each product by hand. So each product is a unique different creation made with enormous love and care.Through Mitra platform we not only helps our artisans to become self-reliant, but also spreads awareness about the traditional crafts of the region, thus helping preserve a rich part of Odisha’s cultural heritage.

Story Behind Mitra Craft

The journey of Mitra started long before with the journey of Sumitra Parhi. In those childhood years, people said Sumitra was a little weird. She spent time talking to trees, flowers, birds, butterflies, insects and grasses. She spent days and nights reading books. She spent hours making greeting cards, flowers, rakhis, collages, decorating rooms and doing many other things. She enjoyed drawing things closing her eyes while listening to music. In that age too, between verbal and visual language she choose visual, as it could be understood by everybody.

This creativity and imagination of Sumitra’s childhood remained with her even when she grew up. She was scolded for running after imagination and not after facts. But the joy of imagining and giving it a shape and the creativity of expressing it is unimaginable. She chooses different place for her higher study to discover the uniqueness of each place. In the process she went to Pondicherry, Hyderabad, Delhi, Ahmadabad and so on.

Curiosity led her to discover herself and her surroundings. Art, craft, culture, tradition and creativity of rural artisans fascinates her. The problem of rural crafts-people affected her. From all these strands "Mitra" was born as means of sustaining many people and culture.

She never thought of making it an online platform earlier. But the pandemic made it possible to make a bridge between crafts-people and the world. Local craftsmen have been struggling to earn a livelihood due to the decrease in the demand for traditional handicrafts over the years. The increase in machine-made products, lack of opportunities to sell and lack of demand have overshadowed the excellence, creativity and hard work of rural artisans and their traditional artistry.

In the absence of many other significant earning opportunities for the rural, tribal and women artisans, it became imperative to provide them with a source of livelihood. And we at Mitra; provide these artisans with opportunities to earn for themselves and their families with dignity.

So welcome all of you to the world of "Mitra". We want you to be a friend (‘Mitra’) and be with us and help us to walk a little further down our choosen path.

Sumitra on Mitra Craft

My love for craft always attracts me towards artisans. But at the same time, the poverty stricken life of rural artisans saddened me always. How could we allow an artisan to live a life like this? Why couldn't we do something for them? The question keeps ringing in me continuously throughout my childhood year, as I got opportunity to meet so many tribal and rural artisans of Odisha from the districts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Balasore being part of a Students Meet Programme every year held by a group of Pioneer teachers.

So whenever I go somewhere and see an artisan selling something and waiting for the buyer with a dry eye, I buy as much things as I can. As a child my tin boxes are always filled with these crafts. Even I got scolded for this from our Hostel Guide during Sunday checking.

When I grew younger and started getting pocket money, I try to buy all the available things of an artisan. So that s/he shouldn't worry for a day or two for fulfilling the daily need of her/his family. Till then my dream was always to adopt a really needy artisan family, whether they produce enough amount of craft for sale or not. But for so many reason it was still a dream.

I remember one incident from 2005. While I was studying in the final year of my graduation, I sold two golden ringin just 2,500 rupees which my AuntMinati gifted me. Because anJauKandhei artisan was really in need for the treatment of her daughter. In those days I was staying in Balasore and attending spoken English classes in SharpMind institution. In exchange of 2500 rupees I bought all the JauKandhei being kept at her home. For next three years I continued gifting those dolls to most of my friends and relatives in every special occasion. When some of my relatives came to know about the gold ring incident, I got scolded. But nothing bothered me. I continued the practice of buying crafts from artisans whether I need it or not.

But now everything has been changed. Covid-19 pandemic clouded the future of artisans more than before. Even now I am not financially sound enough to continue what I did so far. So I didn't want to wait more. Started the craft shop "MITRA", where I can sell my own hand painted things as well as a small number of collected crafts with some new ones.

I am working hard for the betterment of every work I am doing. Hoping a little help from you people to support me in this journey. Buy our product @mitracraftshop or be a patron @patreon to be a part of this journey.