Ministry of Textiles17-October, 2015 17:27 IST
Government holds interactive session with handicrafts artisans
Ministry has revised schemes & formulated new strategy for handicrafts sector: Textiles Secretary

Handicraft artisans from various places such as Narsapur, Jodhpur, Bhuj and Kashmir had a direct interaction with senior officials of the Ministry of Textiles, on the sidelines of IHGF Delhi Fair – Autumn 2015. Briefing the artisans, Dr. S. K. Panda, Secretary, Textiles highlighted the big role the handicrafts sector has, in providing employment to rural population.


Dr. Panda pointed out two major developments, which has impacted the promotion of handicrafts:
  1. The level of education has gone up, there being educated youth in most artisan families
  2. Internet and other IT based interventions have bridged the gap between urban and rural areas with digital connectivity.

The Secretary said that there is a need to target high-end customers. He added that there is a need to change our mindset along these lines. He highlighted the need to better understand what the market needs, in terms of size, colour and designs. Technology has made this easier, enabling artisans to interact with anyone across the world, through smart phones, he said.

Dr. Panda said that the Government has revised handicrafts schemes and formulated a new strategy, which has four broad components:
        i.  Infrastructure development, such as a Common Facility Centre in every cluster
      ii.  Development of design and training, through schemes under Office of DC (Handicrafts)
    iii.  Direct assistance to artisans, such as online assistance through their bank accounts
    iv.   Linking up with market with participation of private sector


The Secretary said that an online location-wise directory of handicrafts products is being made, with contact details of artisans from each cluster, which would facilitate buyers to get in touch with them. He said that efforts are on to provide more financial assistance to start-up entrepreneurs and to link Self-Help Groups with export groups. He also spoke about the efforts to link handicrafts with tourism and fashion, according to the advice of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Artisans from various clusters shared their experiences and gave suggestions. Some of them shared their success stories as well, narrating how their business grew and how they have been able to get orders from foreign buyers belonging to European countries.



Shri Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and other senior officials of the Ministry also participated in the discussion.
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DJM

(Release ID :129819)