For decades, the handloom and handicraft industry has been the backbone of India’s economy, accounting for a large portion of the country’s exports.
It is, after agriculture, one of the most important sources of employment, providing a vital source of income for the country’s rural and urban population.
- It also gives a plethora of entrepreneurship possibilities to rural artisans and craftspersons.
- However, according to a recent UN report, the number of artisans in India has decreased by 30% in the last 30 years, putting diverse crafts in jeopardy.
- The existing skill gap between artisans and weavers could be a big factor.
- Will the launch of MSDE’s pilot projects and other schemes help the sector regain its former glory?
According to a survey conducted by Development Commissioner Handicrafts, only seven million craftsmen can currently make a living from handicrafts. Given the size and scope of the Indian market, this is a huge decrease.
Because of the industry’s ability to contribute to India’s economy and provide jobs for the youth, the government is aggressively working to develop it to its full potential. Mention ‘Vocal for Local’ and Aatmanirbhar Bharat that could be realised by tapping the potential of this sector. With the industry’s growth, the government, together with several industry stakeholders, is putting a lot of effort into bridging the skill gap through various programmes and projects.
Pilot projects by MSDE to upskill the Artisans and Weavers of Kashmir
MSDE recently started two pilot programmes to promote and preserve Kashmir’s ancient Namda craft, as well as upskill and certify up to 11,000 local weavers and artisans to boost their output. During his visit to the EPCH-organized India Handicraft Fair, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar hinted at the inauguration of the pilot projects.
The pilot projects are expected to
- Upskill craftsmen and weavers through a three-cycle, 25-batch short-term training programme under PMKVY.
- The training programmes will last around three and a half months each, allowing the cycles to be completed in 14 to 16 months.
UNESCO recognizes Srinagar as Creative City
Srinagar was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the craft and folk-art category earlier this year. Srinagar’s admission in UCCN has created the path for the city to represent its handicrafts on a global scale through UNESCO, which should lead to increased export and employment prospects for artisans.
Srinagar’s recognition as a Creative City and the launch of pilot projects should contribute to the revival of ancient crafts by providing the artisans with a wider market to showcase their talent.
Government initiatives to boost employability by bridging the skill gap in the Handicraft sector
There is no shortage of talent in this industry; all it takes is the necessary skills and expertise to tap into it. These upskilling projects will undoubtedly provide a platform for young people to demonstrate their abilities and develop the essential skills to pursue a career in this field.
Aside from domain knowledge, craftsmen must also learn digital abilities that will allow them to communicate with people all over the world. The artisans would require assistance in becoming technologically literate. By using the power of technology, they will be able to overcome the hurdles they confront during their growth.
Handicrafts Fair by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH)
India Handicrafts Fair was held in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, attended the fair and spoke with entrepreneurs in traditional skill-based enterprises. The EPCH was urged to create a digital platform that would connect all entrepreneurs in the field to a larger market.
“This will not only enable ease of business in the sector but also help in achieving the Prime Minister’s goal of doubling exports from India,” added Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Electronics and IT.
He recently launched projects to boost local handicraft clusters in Manipur, Nagaland, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Hunar Haat provides market exposure and employment opportunities to the artisans
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, during the inaguration of 33rd edition of Hunar Haat in Delhi, said that during the Corona crisis, indigenous production capacity fulfilled the domestic needs and became “safety cover” for the Indian economy during the global recession. To read more about the 33rd Hunar Haat, please visit – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/union-minister-for-minority-affairs-inaugurates-33rd-edition-of-hunar-haat-in-new-delhi/
The Hunar Haat, a handicrafts fair that aims to provide market exposure and employment possibilities to artists and craftsmen from minority communities, has so far employed 5.60 lakh people, according to Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Bamboo village to create employment opportunities in Himachal Pradesh
The Government of Himachal Pradesh has chosen to promote the bamboo craft by establishing a bamboo village in order to provide job opportunities for youth and boost the rural economy.
The Handicrafts and Carpet Industry Skill Council (HCSSC) promotes skill development in the sector to motivate youth and provide them with a platform to demonstrate their potential, allowing them to find work.
Also read: Enormous scope for skill development as Logistics industry transforms through MMLPs https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/enormous-scope-for-skill-development-as-logistics-industry-transforms-through-mmlps/
India has about 3,000 different craft types with craftsmen all over the country. With such a diverse spectrum of craft talents and a large population of artisans, India has the potential to turn this into a multibillion-dollar business. The sector should be able to provide rural and urban youth with sustainable livelihood prospects with the necessary training and skill development opportunities.
We have simply analysed the trends in order to keep our readers informed about the evolving skills industry in India. Please contact the people, organizations or industry bodies mentioned in the article if you want to learn more about the news.