Hunnarbaaz series: Skills and jobs in handlooms and handicrafts


This article is based on Hunnarbaaz TV series that was aired on Doordarshan. We wish to acknowledge and credit Directorate General of Training, MSDE and Cinema Vision India for Hunnarbaaz series. We are thankful to National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for permission to re-use the video content in this educational series.The names of organisations and designations of people shown in the videos and quoted in the articles may no longer be the same. This article has 3 pages.

About the handloom and handicraft industry

The handloom and handicraft sector is represented by the Handloom and Carpet Sector Skill Council (HSSC) and and Textile Sector Skill Council (TSSC). Together, these sectors have come up with several Qualification Packs (QPs) and National Occupational Standards (NOS) for various jobs roles and entrepreneurship training. Here are the links to view the QPs and NOS for handlooms, textiles and handicrafts.

handloom and handicraftsWhen it comes to handicrafts and handloom there is hardly any part of India which is not known for it’s specially crafted and weaved items. This is a vast and versatile industry. Be it the silk from Assam or the cotton from Bengal, the Pashmina from Kashmir or the Kanjeevaram from South India they all have their own story to tell and have their place in the market.

No matter how much technology advances the skill in the hands of people has its own charm. There is a lot of tradition that has been passed on through generations which is no less than the magic of skilled hands.

This industry provides employment for 13000000 artists. Several small villages work on these handlooms and handicrafts in eco-friendly and low energy environments. Products from India have been appreciated worldwide .There is a great demand for our products outside our country. It has already made its way into several top international markets like the U.S.A. UK, UAE and Germany etc.

Introduction to Handlooms and handicrafts, challenges, access to markets

As you can see in the video below, there is no dearth of talent in the country but the due appreciation and the means to scale up with the right kind of marketing is what is required. Artists are not directly attached to markets and that is a hindrance in their growth. The good thing is big designers are directly working with artists now.

According to the experts in the industry what we need to do is harness the talent and create products which are in demand in the global market.

Key facts about handloom industry

  • This industry gives the opportunity to women in villages and small towns who have proved they are no less. They are working with proficiency and this is benefiting them and their families.
  • The need of the hour is to make traditional designs match the modern requirements. The Industry is progressing at a fast pace but it needs a little help in terms of encouragement and facilities to the artisans.
  • There are several ways in which one can get into this sector like marketing, designing etc. You can learn the skills either from a master craftsman or an institute.
  • There are several Institutes that are offering this kind of training. There are customer-centric institutes which believe in first understanding the needs of the customer and using that information to create the right kind of products.
  • There are organizations using eco-friendly ways to help create value products and also provide employment to many people by providing the right kind of skill based training. India is the second largest banana producer in the world. Once the banana is harvested the plant is discarded as waste. The artisans use this banana waste to make very attractive handicrafts. The farmer is paid for the waste too.

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