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Handicraft workers unaware of govt schemes
Feb '10
A number of handicraft and handloom workers have no knowledge about the welfare schemes planned for them by the government, was exposed at a training program held at the Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute (MGLI) in Ahmedabad.

Lack of awareness among the workers is the major cause for this, said an official. At the first day of this training program, which was on skill improvement of handicraft workers, around 60 embroidery and handloom workers from the city and other regions around Ahmedabad, Gujarat attended the lectures and gained knowledge about the benefits they can avail under Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana, through a video.

The artisans can avail a number of welfare benefits, such as highly subsidized insurance schemes (up to 85 percent), educational backing for their children, accident benefits up to Rs.100,000 and medical assistance extended to the family, under this scheme, informed Mr. P F Vankar, Assistant Manager, Gujarat State Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation (GSHHDC).`

At present, there are around 40 clusters across the state of Gujarat developed by GSHHDC which include tie-and-dye, embroidery and woodcarving clusters. Around Rs.6 million has been allocated to each of these 40 clusters. GSHHDC finds it difficult to spread awareness about the scheme among artisans as it takes care of only individual artisans and not co-operatives, said Mr. Vankar.

Generating awareness among the artisans is a priority task, said one of the lecturers at MGLI. On the second day of this training program, faculties from the renowned institutes like the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the National Institute of Design offered advice to the workers regarding product improvement.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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