Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Garvi Gurjari National Craft Fair & Summit 2014’ in Ahmedabad on the afternoon of 21st February, 2014.
Emphasizing on developing the handicrafts industry, which is primarily run by generations, Shri Modi said that the need was to expand it horizontally by linking it with technology. “Times have changed. Earlier the handicrafts market was your surrounding areas, but in this age things are different. We need to look at quality upgradation, technology upgradation and make-user friendly products that are durable,” said Shri Modi. He further added that by data collection and effective mapping of such families, and the brands they promote, strategies for expansion could be shared with them.
Shri Modi also stated that the focus must be on changing the manufacturing process, ensuring durability and adapting innovations, and mentioned that the State government was helping the craftsmen to achieve this. “Innovation and research is key in the handicrafts sector and the state government is helping you,” said Shri Modi.
“Global positioning must be our focus and if we do that, everything will change. In Gujarat we have made an effort to market handicrafts, and the Khushbu Gujarat Ki ads that market Kutch handicrafts is one such,” said Shri Modi, even as he emphasized on the need to make the craftsmen virtually savvy so as to ensure this.
While speaking on tapping the potential of this sector, Shri Modi highlighted the Gujarat government’s focus on inclusive growth, and added that such fairs were amongst the many initiatives taken to include the poorest of poor in the State’s growth story. “When we talk about inclusive growth, it means that the poorest of the poor must get opportunities,” said Shri Modi, while putting forth the need to promote the handicrafts sector and thereby provide livelihood to scores.
Shri Modi also spoke of the impressive scope of the handicrafts sector in driving the tourism potential of a country. Stating that both sectors are directly related to each other, Shri Modi highlighted how Rannotsav in Kutch each year gave a boost to both sectors. “Tourism and handicrafts go together. We cannot separate the two, instead we need to link the handicrafts sector to tourism. Sadly the people promoting tourism are different & those promoting handicrafts are different and they do not meet,” said Shri Modi.
Shri Modi said that the handicrafts of any region showcase the identity of that region, even as it does the branding for the same. He applauded the initiative of conducting the fair by saying that it gave a big opportunity to the craftsmen by providing them with a platform to showcase their products and promote it. “We do Vibrant Summits but this effort is more important for us,” said Shri Modi.
Organized by the Ministry of Cottage Industries, Government of Gujarat, the 7-day fair to end on 27th February, witnesses participation from over 19 states, and will showcase the handloom and handicraft products of Gujarat as well as from across the country. The inauguration also witnessed the presence of Shri Mahadev Naik, Minister for Industries, Handicrafts, Textile and Coir, GOA.