Ministry of Textiles26-September, 2014 15:41 IST
Santosh Kumar Gangwar Launches Major Programmes for Handicraft Development in Varanasi

Souvenier Development Project, Major Skill and Design Initiatives for Handicrafts Artisans Launched

In a major function organized at Urban Haat, Chowkaghat, Varanasi today, Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge), Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar launched number of programmes for development of Handicrafts in Varanasi. Skill Development of 5000 carpet weavers , 5 Months Integrated Design Development for wooden toys , Design Development workshop on soft stone and Souvenir Development project were among the few programmes inaugurated by Hon`ble Minister. These programmes will be carried out in various craft concentration areas of Varanasi. The function was attended by approx. 400 artisans, weavers, manufacturers , exporters and representatives from Handicrafts sector. On the occasion ,Hon`ble Minister also distributed improved potters wheel and improved tools to 50 terracotta artisans and 50 artisans of wooden toys respectively.

In his inaugural speech the Minister informed that the improved tools will assist artisans to improve upon the quality of the products , reduce rejections and enhance the productivity. The artisans will be able to compete in the market in terms of price and quality and execute orders in time. Marketing and design inputs are biggest challenge to the unorganized handicrafts sector and to overcome this initiatives are being taken to support artisans interms of latest Design inputs, technological innovations and marketing support. Over 20 artisans of wooden toys, stone carving, meenakari and Zari have been empanelled by HHEC and CCIC for marketing their products in domestic and international market. Shri Gangwar informed that the artisans pension has been increased from Rs 1000/- to Rs 2000/- per month. Further Artisans who have received Shilp Guru, National Awards and National Merit Certificate will get Rs 20000/- towards Rail Fair annually.

Shri Dinesh Kumar Development Commissioner (Handloom) , in welcome address informed that Handicrafts plays a very vital role in the economic development of the country . After Agriculture, Handicrafts is the second largest employment supporting sector especially in rural and semi-urban areas. Handicrafts not only preserves the rich tradition and culture of the country but also is a major source of foreign earnings. He called upon the artisans to adopt technological innovations to improve their productivity and competitiveness in the market. Efforts are being taken to ensure that all the artisans are issued Identity cards and have bank account under recently launched Jan DhanYojana. Speaking on the occasion Shri Dinesh Kumar expressed that Varanasi is a world famous tourist destination . Various handicrafts of Varanasi such as wooden toys, Zari-zardozi , meenakari have their own importance . Linkage of tourism with crafts of Varanasi will provide new dimension to both the sectors in terms of employment generation, business opportunities and exports.

Giving impetus to the Design inputs ,The Minister released book on new Designs of Mural Paintings and Wooden Toys prepared by NCDPD, New Delhi.

The programme was concluded by Vote of Thanks by Shri P.K. Thakur, Director O/o DC(Handicrafts) . Other Dignitaries present were Shri Nirmal Sinha, MD, HHEC , Shri R.K. Srivastava , MD , NCDPD,

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(Release ID :110055)