About Us

A Brief Introduction

Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram Leather Industries Development Corporation Ltd., was established by the Govt of Karnataka in the year 1976 with main objective of overall development of leather industry in Karnataka and upliftment of socio-economic conditions of scheduled caste Leather Artisans in the state. The Corporation is well known by its brand LIDKAR.


The Leather Artisans in the state are economically most backward and still engaged in making and selling traditional footwear. They are being exploited by private dealers and hence they are not getting right price for their products. Even now many of the artisans are sitting on roadside without proper shelter and engaged in footwear repair for their livelihood.

The Govt of Karnataka, keeping in view the welfare of the SC Leather Artisans had established Karnataka Leather Industries Development Corporation Ltd., in the year 1976 and started implementing various Developmental Schemes. The Corporation was established during the tenure of the then Hon’ble Chief Minister Sri Devaraja Urs. The Nomenclature of the corporation was changed as Dr Babu Jagjivan Ram Leather Industries Development Corporation Ltd., w.e.f 13th May 2010. The corporation since its formation was under the Administrative control Commerce and Industries department and the corporation was transferred to the purview of Social Welfare Department from 15-12-2011. Since then, the corporation is getting more allocation of funds from the Social Welfare Department and the corporation is implementing different schemes along with some new schemes keeping in view the welfare of the artisan community. Apart from the Development Schemes, the corporation has taken up the commercial activities. The genuine leather products made by leather artisans and small scale industries are being sold under Lidkar’s Brand name through 15 Lidkar Leather Emporia across the state and by getting Bulk Orders from Govt Departments/ Corporations and Private Companies. Also through Exhibition cum sales being organized in different places. Thereby Corporation is extending marketing assistance for the products made by artisans and SSI units.

History of Leather Artisans / Leather craft

Leather Craft has got its own history. In 12th century Sri Haralayya and his wife Smt Kalyanamma who engaged in footwear making were disciples of Lord Shiva. They were a great followers of Sri Basavanna who was the minister in Bijalla Kingdom and he was trying to bring social reforms in the society. Sri Basavanna in order to eradicate untouchability visited Sri Haralayya’s house and performed pooja and accepted the prasadam and while leaving the house Sri Haralayya offered Sri Basavanna Namaskar by saying sharanu .In turn Sri Basavanna offered Haralayya” Sharanu Sharanarthi”. Then Sri Haralayya was astonished and surprised to receive such a courtesy shown by Sri Basavanna towards a poor Chammara.
The Haralayya Couple received the sacred footwear from Sri Basavanna and moved towards their village/house. On the way back Sri Madhuvarasa and others taunted them and asked to give those sacred Chappals to wear. Since they showed disrespect to the Sacred Footwear, Surprisingly they got itching on their skin. Ultimately they had to repent and rush back to Haralayya’s house to cure their problem by sprinkling the tanned water on their skin. Hence the Leather Craft is considered as sacred profession right from many centuries and it is relevant even today. Also the profession and industry have grown in large scale over a period of time.
In North Karnataka different sub castes among schedule caste are involved in different activities such as Flaying, Tanning and Footwear making. The Subcaste who are involved in flaying activities called Madigas, Tanning activities called Dhor and involved in footwear making called Samagara/ Mochis/ Machagara. In southern parts of Karnataka they are called Madigas. All the artisans belongs to these sub communities are called Leather artisans. This profession is being followed for centuries and leather industry has been developed into a bigger sector which plays important role in Indian economy. The Leather industry is one of the important industry which brings more revenue to the country through exports. This Industry is successful in providing more employment opportunities to the most backward communities in the society specially more opportunities to women folk.