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Workshop organized by FDDI at Jodhpur
Mar '09
There are various clusters in India making traditional footwear and other leather goods which are an integral part of rural Indian economy and have the potential for generating local employment and export.

"The development of the leather manufacturing sector couldn't be sustained unless being supported by the grass root artisans, hence this daylong workshop was organized to give an insight about the scheme 'Support to Artisans' to the artisans." - Mr. Rajeev Lakhara, IRS, Managing Director, FDDI.

But, due to product deficiencies, lack of standardization, absence of innovation and improved designs, low productivity and prevailing exploitative marketing channels this sector has remained very uncompetitive for years.

During the 11th Five Year Plant (2007 - 12), under the scheme 'Support to Artisans' of the Indian Leather Development Programme (ILDP) of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India a holistic intervention has been made to make this sector competitive and ensure sustainable livelihood to artisans.

In this regard, a daylong workshop was organized by the Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI) on 28th February 2009 at hotel 'Mandap' in Jodhpur were Mr. Shashi Bhushan Shukla, IRS, Secretary, FDDI was the Chief Guest.

On this occasion, Mr. Mahesh Kumar Goel, AGM, NABARD, Mr. A.K. Shukla, Branch Manager, Bank of Rajasthan, Mr. R. L. Nath, LDO, UCO Bank, Mr. Kulwinder Singh, Handicraft Promotion Officer and Mr. Ashok Chouhan, President, Jodhpur Leather Works Innovative Cooperative Society were also present.

Services to be provided by the 'Centralized Resource Center'
• Product Development;
• Formation of SHG's;
• Transfer of technology to artisan / micro and small scale enterprises;
• Training for adopting improved work practices;
• Providing appropriate gadgets and small tools;
• Provision of polymer lasts and creating awareness of its use;
• Exposure of marketing trends;
• Development of entrepreneurship skills;
• Display of products in various fairs.

According to Mr. Rajeev Lakhara, IRS, Managing Director, FDDI, "The development of the leather manufacturing sector couldn't be sustained unless being supported by the grass root artisans, hence this daylong workshop was organized to give an insight about the scheme 'Support to Artisans' to the artisans."

These clusters have the reservoir of rich traditional skills but, due to the vicious circle of low income rate, lesser margin & no fresh infusion of the newer technology & methodology since long time have made the present status of the artisan static.

"It is of utmost importance to make the traditional leather and footwear clusters competent in design & technology and give the product adequate exposure in the domestic and international market." - Mr. Shashi Bhushan Shukla, IRS, Secretary FDDI.

The artisans need constant supply of raw material, new design catalogues, new designs of last, market linkage, stitching machine etc. to compete and survive with the other clusters and footwear industry.

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