15th November, 2002
Ministry of Textiles


The President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, today honoured 10 eminent craft persons as Shilp Gurus at a function to commemorate the golden jubilee of the Resurgence of Handicrafts in India at Vigyan Bhavan here this evening. The function was organised by the Development Commissionerate for Handicrafts of the Ministry of Textiles. The craft persons who were honoured today were Shri C. Parameshwarachar (wood carving) from Karnataka, Shri Ganapathi Sthapathi (stone carving) from Tamil Nadu, Shri Guruppa Chetty (kalamkari) from Andhra Pradesh, Shri Jivya Soma Mashe (Warli painting) from Maharashtra, Shri Vinayak Saalvi (Patola) from Gujarat, Shri Kirpal Singh Shekhawat (ceramics) and Shri Jagdish Lal Soni (thewa) from Rajasthan, Smt. Sona Bai Rajwar (clay relief work) and Shri Jai Dev Baghel (dhokra) from Chhatisgarh, and Shri Nawang Tsering (clay sculpture) from Leh, J&K.

The President also released a set of four commemorative stamps on the handicrafts tradition of India. The stamps, each in the denomination of Rs. Five, feature cane and bamboo artefacts, thewa art, dhokra casting and patola fabrics. The Minister for Communications, IT and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pramod Mahajan, handed over the stamp album to Dr. Abdul Kalam.

The Minister of Textiles, Shri Kashiram Rana, presented to the President monographs on the lifetime achievement of the distinguished craft persons, Shri V. Ganapathi Sthapathi and the late Ali Hasan Naqshband. The monographs were by Ms. Sabitha Radhakrishna and Dr. Anjan Chakravarty respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, the President lamented that the income of the crafts person was not commensurate with the time and effort he put in. He wanted shopping complexes to be made for a cluster of villages with adequate communication facilities where handicrafts could also be sold. He advised the Ministry of Textiles to increase the earnings of the handicrafts sector to Rs. 60,000 crore in the next five to six years.

Shri Kashiram Rana said that an outlay of Rs.425 crore has been provided for in the 10th Plan, which was 34 per cent more than that in the 9th Plan. He said that the eight new schemes envisaged by the Government would ensure the foreign exchange earnings from the sector and betterment of the craft persons.

The Minister of State for Textiles, Shri Basanagouda Patil, said that the Government would adopt a cluster approach as a part of the future strategy. He said that a basket of inputs in the form of design technology, marketing, finance and welfare interventions would be provided to identified clusters through Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana for ensuring sustainable development of the craft persons.

The Textiles Secretary, Shri S.B. Mohapatra, and the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Smt. Tinoo Joshi, also spoke on the occasion.

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