The preservation of crafts matters because for many people, this is their livelihood. It is their respect and dignity, as well, so preserving the people and their lives means preserving their crafts and heritage.
Much of India’s heritage would be lost if people lost their traditional skills. After we won our freedom from the British, we needed to ground ourselves in our own histories, our own culture.
Since the 1990s, globalized marketplaces have opened up in India for goods from other countries. But cultural pressures to modernize are mostly directed toward the upper class. It was only the educated upper castes that had the option to move laterally and go from one kind of work to something else. The under castes did not have access to that kind of education or options.
So this kept them rooted in their traditional identity and the traditional passing down of skills learned from parents, grandparents and local guilds. So they kept to their craft skills, partly because of forced immobility and the contained identity that was their only identity.
We like to provide as much opportunity as possible to share knowledge by passing on the skills to train future generations, to the buyers at large. This not only develops a market but is a way to eliminate the duplicate stuff that has entered the markets in the name of original and authentic crafts.