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'Indigenous handicrafts reflect India's diversity, creativity'
10
Dec '15
Courtesy: PIB
Courtesy: PIB
President Pranab Mukherjee has said that our indigenous handicrafts are a cherished aspect of our way of life.

The President who gave away the National Awards and Shilp Guru Awards to master craftspersons for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, on December 9, .appreciated their unique contribution to the preservation and promotion of Indian handicraft traditions and for enriching the cultural heritage of the country.

“Their extensive range reflects our nation's diversity and infinite creativity. Each geographic region and sub-region has its individual style and tradition that stems from the ancient life-rhythms of its society. Our shilpkaars have, down the centuries, developed their own, often unique, methods and techniques of bringing life into stone and metal, sandalwood and clay. They had, many centuries ago, perfected scientific and engineering processes far ahead of their times. The creations of that time reveal their sophisticated knowledge and highly developed aesthetic sense” Mukherjee said.

The President said that production of handicraft items provides livelihood opportunities to millions of people living in rural areas. Handicrafts entail low capital investment and facilitate environmental conservation. They also empower disadvantaged segments like the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities thus making development inclusive and sustainable. Production of handicraft items holds particular significance in the economic empowerment of women living in the rural areas.

The President stated that concerted steps at various levels are necessary to provide a fillip to the handicrafts sector. These may include facilitation of easier access to credit from banks and other financial institutions and the promotion of these products in domestic and foreign markets. Universities, corporate houses and Government departments can contribute by sponsoring and also undertaking research which results in new and innovative technologies that will enable upgradation of the traditional tools and designs of local artisans.

Mukherjee expressed happiness at the launch of the comprehensive National Handicrafts Development Programme that emphasizes integrated approach for development of handicrafts clusters. He said that the new approach is built on empowering artisans by skill upgradation, design development, technology upgradation and supply of raw material through easily accessible Common Facility Centres at cluster level.

He added that another component of the new approach is the development and strengthening of marketing linkages through options such as exporters, direct sale, sale expos and e-commerce. The President appreciated the fact that opportunities made available by Information Technology are being exploited to provide financial assistance to artisans directly through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.

Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar who attended the award ceremony, said that the awards bestow on the awardees a sacred responsibility to not only maintain their skill, but to also keep the handicrafts tradition alive. He hoped that the awards would encourage the artisans to train others and add further to India's rich cultural heritage. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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