Jagdalpur: Yashwant of Sargiguda, a small village in Bastar, is a contrast and an ideal to the youth who rush to the metro cities for the longing of a high paying job and a luxurious life in multinational companies after higher education. However opposite to this Yashwant studied to be the first wood craft designing engineer from Chhattisgarh and left his multi-million rupee package job and dazzling life in Bengaluru to help the youth of his village.

With the passage of time, when his art flourished, he established a small-scale industry of wood crafts at home. Today, more than a hundred tribal artisans are employed here.

Sargiguda village in Bastar block, about 20 km from the district headquarters, is recognized today in Asia as well as parts of Europe because of this one guy who was determined. The result of the hard work and dedication of 28-year-old Yashwant Kashyap is that the demand for wood craft of his disciples is in many countries like Germany, France, UK etc. His father Ramnath is also a renowned woodworker of Chhattisgarh.

Yashwant is now teaching the nuances of bellmetal and iron craft along with wood. Two years ago, he started a small-scale cottage industry at home as a wooden crafts center, which over time is taking the form of a medium industry. Due to this, employment for youth is also increasing. The special thing is that Yashwant imparts this training at no charge. Shriram, Lakhuram, Manbodh and Rainu, who were among Yashwant's disciples, said that Bastar has craftsmen, but not those who teach the specifics of the craft.

Yashwant provides the nuances of the craft, design as well as markets. These young craftsmen said that due to Yashwant, today the demand for their craft is up to seven seas.

Happiness is bigger than money

Yashwant did his early education at the village school. After completing Higher Secondary studies from Bastar, got admission in ITI here. After this he was selected for the Indian Institute of Craft and Design Center Jaipur Rajasthan. There he earned a degree and moved to Bengaluru. Many well-known companies working in the field of designing offered him a job on a package of lakhs of rupees, but he chose to return back to his soil.  

Yashwant says that he could have earned a lot of money by staying there, but he would have never got the happiness and satisfaction of seeing the youth of the village are getting today when they stand on their feet. He said that the art works made in the training center are sold with GI tags to those companies associated with craft exports in Bangalore, who export crafts in the country as well as all over the world.