Rooftop – Where India Inspires Creativity

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Revitalising Traditional Arts – A Strategy for Sustainable Development

Terms like the economy, economic growth, sustainable growth and digital economy ring a bell, but when it comes to the word “creative economy” we all have different interpretations of it. How can something intangible like creativity, creative thinking or expression through cultural mediums, be a source to propagate a country’s economy? Well, the answer is, yes it can.

As quoted by UNCTAD, “The “creative economy” is an evolving concept based on creative assets potentially generating economic growth and development.” India is a melting pot of cultural diversity and therefore has abundant creativity in different pockets of the country. Indian traditional art form is India’s art heritage which serves the directives of the creative economy but is still untapped. Therefore revitalising traditional arts could be a great strategy for sustainable development.

Understanding Creative Economy through India’s context

Source: Pinterest

As per UNESCO, cultural and creative sectors carry great importance and are a powerful tool to work towards sustainable development. From that standpoint, India’s cultural diversity has been beneficial in fostering sustainable development goals. The country has birthed several traditional art forms due to geopolitical divisions. Owing to their origin and community growth, native people began using creativity as a medium of expression. Their art was in sync with the religious beliefs, traditions and their day-to-day life chores. The skills and methodology were passed down from generation to generation.

Indian traditional art exhibited the rich heritage of the place and people and gained economic importance. Although the monarch of India and the Westerners were patrons of Indian traditional art, the trend seemed to diminish over time. Modern world and developments came with their substitutes for traditional art. It was quite later when the artists and the art started receiving their due recognition because of their originality and significance. Therefore, this creative power generated a source of income, job opportunities and gave the artists a sense of recognition on a global platform. 

The Indian traditional art sector further boomed when the artists broaden their horizons. They used their traditional art with modern variations. Accessories, upholstery, garments, decor and such became the canvas for their traditional art. This created awareness amongst the modern world population. Not only did it generate revenue but also fostered social upliftment, cultural exchange and support for economic growth.

Indian Traditional Art Fostering Sustainable Development – The Four Pillars

Source: UNCTAD

Economic – The sustainable development goal 8 is Decent Work and Economic Growth. It promotes decent, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Indian traditional art contributes significantly to achieve these criteria. The right kind of marketing and exposure of the art ensures livelihood for the artisans.

Research shows that India’s creative economy accounts for a market size of around 36.2 billion. This denotes how Indian traditional and folk art is also perceived in the global market. The export industry also benefits through the art of India. In 2024, India will be a highly digitised country. Therefore, the traditional artisans have adapted to the new demands and created a fusion of innovation and modern mediums.


Social – The diversity of culture is a boon for India’s creative industries. Region-specific art carries the essence of their religious beliefs, folklore and community setup. When the art is being displayed on a common forum it gives rise to social cohesion and intercultural dialogue. It creates a sense of belongingness and pride amongst the people.   

Cultural – Indian folk art played a major role in uplifting the local artisans’ lives. They practised art with natural materials and themes that revolved around their lives that gave an insight of their beliefs and traditions. Active participation of people, taking pride in their art heritage builds the community’s unity. The tribal art of India also accounts to a significant share in the creative economy development. Several government initiatives, the Ministry of culture worked towards promoting India’s tribal art. The artisans gained recognition, their cultural identity was strengthened and the art got appreciation on a global platform.  


Environmental – Indian traditional art fosters Goal 13: Climate Action by promoting sustainable practices and spreading awareness through their themes. Majority of the folk art like Warli, Madhubani, Gond use nature as their central motif for their painting. This depicts and further promotes harmony between human life and nature. Apart from the creative aspect, traditional and folk art also promotes the indigenous tribes and their practices. The ecological system and practices are revered by the tribal people which is being carried forward through art. 

Indian Traditional Art Fostering Sustainable Development – Rooftop’s Take

Image source: Rooftop (A screenshot of the app page)

Rooftop is one the leading platforms that bridges the gap between Indian traditional folk art and the modern world. It promotes and strongly advocates the uniqueness of India’s art heritage. The Rooftop app and website is the digital link between the art and the artist. It connects the two worlds through online workshops, maestro classes and more. Rooftop believes that reviving traditional Indian art is a stellar strategy to foster sustainable development. 

As quoted by Rooftop’s CEO and founder Kartik Gaggar, “ India has 200+ art forms but the current generation is yet to explore the beauty and versatility of it. This is where Rooftop comes into picture to provide authentic and detailed creative learning”. Through online and offline mediums, Rooftop has provided 3000+ artists a sustainable livelihood. Padma Shri and national awardee artists authenticate the content and provide their expertise while the user learns a particular art form.

Rooftop Promoting Sustainable Development Through Traditional Art – The Events

Image source: Rooftop

Rooftop x Indian Art, Architecture and Design Biennale – The Indian Art Biennale was a global forum to acknowledge, promote and support the art sector. This fostered not only sustainable development but also created awareness about the Indian traditional art sector. Rooftop collaborated with Padma Shri Bhuri Bai, a Bhil artist and Pavan and Somya Nakash, Cheriyal artists for an offline workshop. Such workshops upholds the ethos of Rooftop and also gave the audience a hands on experience with India’s folk art

Rooftop x FICCI – Corporate events and employee engagement programs are other mediums of Rooftop that helps an individual connect with their creative side. A well scheduled and planned workshop of any traditional art form creates appreciation towards the art. 

Rooftop x Aadi Mahotsav – This event was an ode to the cultural fabric of our nation. Mr Kartik Gaggar was invited as a guest speaker to shed light on the vibrant world of Indian traditional art and craft. He also spoke about the ways in which India’s art works in synergy with Sustainable development goals. 

Image source: Rooftop

Phad se Padh was a unique initiative by Rooftop to integrate traditional Indian art with modern syllabus. Over 60+ schools from all over India participated in this event to showcase their Phad artwork and presented it on a prestigious platform. The event took place at City Palace Museum in Jaipur and at CCRT (Centre for Cultural resources and training) in Delhi. This initiative served the goals and objectives of NEP 2020.

Image source: Rooftop

Rooftop supporting Artisans and the Art through various modes

Maestro courses are self-paced and comprehensive courses based on several Indian art forms. This ensures the learner’s convenience to access the recorded videos and also provides a chance to have one-on-one interaction with Padmri Shri and national awardee artists. This fosters the sustainable development goal of quality education in terms of creative learning. The digital medium ensures seamless interaction between master artists and the learner. Such platforms encourage the artist community and bring them to the forefront. 

Rooftop’s Art books are a great source to learn, engage and practise Indian traditional art forms. They are thoughtfully curated for different age and skill groups. It has detailed information about the different aspects of the traditional art form. Also, it provides practice pages through which you can get hands-on experience to learn the motifs and other aspects. So it’s a perfect combination of do-it-yourself and learn-it-yourself. 

Image source: Rooftop

Social Media – The social media platforms are one of the strongest and fastest mediums to reach a large audience. Rooftop’s social media handle creates short videos, posts and holds live sessions to engage the art-loving community. It also showcases Master artist’s interviews, updates on Indian art events and insightful messages about Indian art and culture.

Image source: Rooftop

In conclusion, the creative economy of India is flourishing while accomplishing the goals of sustainable development. It embraces the economic, cultural and social aspects of the country. To aid this further, Rooftop brings the folk and master artists to the forefront while connecting them to a larger audience. It believes that India’s art and culture shall be one the strongest pillars in boosting economic growth and promoting sustainable development through various mediums.

To learn more about Indian art history and art forms, download the rooftop app from Google Play or App Store. Follow us on @rooftop_app for our upcoming art events, workshops, blogs and much more.

By Sayali Parkar

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