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Gangwar pushes for boosting handicrafts' quality
Feb '16
Textiles Minister Textiles Santosh Gangwar has stressed on making Indian handicrafts top quality export products.

“People in all corners of the globe should proudly ask for 'Made in India' handicraft,” Gangwar told members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Textiles at NIFT, Hyderabad, according to a Textiles Ministry press release.

The Minister said that artisans by themselves cannot glorify the rich cultural heritage of our country. The combined vision and efforts of all stakeholders, along with Government endeavours, is required to realize this dream.

Gangwar gave a brief overview of the initiatives being taken by the Government in this direction. He said that a comprehensive National Handicraft Development Programme has been launched which emphasizes integrated approach for holistic development & support to the crafts and artisans. The new approach is built on the key element of empowering artisans by skill upgradation, design development, technology upgradation and supply of raw material, through easily accessible Common Facility Centers at cluster level.

Developing and strengthening marketing linkages through various options such as exporters, direct sale, participation in sale expos and e-commerce is another major component of new approach. Welfare of the artisans is being taken care of through Handicrafts Artisans comprehensive welfare schemes. The Minister also spoke of the export performance of the handicrafts sector.

Gangwar also praised NIFT for helping develop handicrafts. Through the Crafts Cluster Initiative, NIFT faculty, students and alumni play a proactive role in the growth of traditional handicrafts and handlooms; at the same time, NIFT also collaborates with leading fashion institutions around the globe, through its 34 MoUs, to keep itself abreast of latest global trends and developments, he said.

Gangwar said that at the request of his Ministry, NIFT is moving towards greater engagement with handlooms and handicrafts. He said that this linkage of fashion with handloom and handicrafts should be beneficial to both, i.e. NIFT students will get sensitized to our artistic heritage on one hand and handloom and handicrafts sector will get new ideas, insights and technology on the other.

Members of Parliament in the Parliamentary Consultative Committee highlighted the need to improve the reach of Government schemes to artisans. Citing the huge revenue and export potential of the sector, the MPs called for strengthening of marketing and promotional activities, through advertising and other means.

In his reply, Gangwar said the Government has already linked handicrafts with tourism, and is pursuing this initiative in earnest. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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