April 23, 2019

Giving wings to the skills of weavers and artisans of Kashi

PM Modi laid the foundation stone of trade facilitation centre and Crafts Museum in 2017, for the benefit of many weavers, craftsmen and artisans of Varanasi and near by areas.

He had once remarked that India cannot become Vishwa Guru without the development of Kashi. Development of Kashi is incomplete without bettering the lives of weavers.

Deendayal Hastkala Sankul a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts inaugurated by PM Modi, helps artisans and weavers gain an international exposure. The centre will encourage weavers and artisans of Varanasi and nearby areas to promote handicrafts in both domestic and international markets.

The crafts museum will further preserve the traditional products of Varanasi. Overall, the centre will increase the incomes of many weavers and artisans across the city.

Handicrafts of Kashi are spread in the form of cottage industries, Banarasi silk saree, textile industry, carpet industries are some of the prominent ones. Any threat to these traditional industries would be an assault on the means of livelihood for many weavers. More than lakhs of handloom weavers are directly or indirectly related with these indsutries. Measures taken for the betterment of weavers and artisans would go a long way in enhancing their incomes.

There are some initiaitves which are specially taken to enhance the standard of living of the artisans, craftsmen and weavers. From a world class laboratory in IICT Bhadohi to minimise the defects in the carpet products, to a Pehchan ID Card for weavers to cut out middlemen. For the retention of next generation of weavers, a carpet engineering program is being run in IICT Bhadohi. 75 percent of the fees of the students belonging to poor families of weavers is being taken care of by the government.

There is a provision for Margin Money of Rs. 10,000 in MUDRA scheme for weavers. Under mega carpet clusters in Mirzapur and Bhadohi. weavers are being given modern looms. Also, they are being imparted skills under skill development programs

At carpet expo, PM Modi said –

“Friends, whenever I used to talk to weaver brothers and sisters before, one thing would surely have been heard, they used to say that our children do not want to join this work anymore. What could be a more serious situation than this? Today, when we are leading the world in terms of carpet, then it is equally necessary to inspire and encourage future generations.”

To realise this goal, a B.Tech. program in the carpet technology is being run in IICT Bhadoi. There are plans to run such programs in training institutes in other parts of the country as well. India currently occupies 35 per cent share of the world's carpet market. PM Modi has set a target to own 50% of the world's carpet market.

Across India, after PM Modi took up the cause of promoting Khadi, the sales of Khadi have been on an upswing. In Varanasi too, Khadi insititutions and workers are being encouraged, with credit link and capital subsidy. Under Kasuhal Vikas Yojana , thousands of youth are being skilled and empowered. The Coir Board also organised an international vyapar mela.

As can be seen, PM Modi has set a holistic vision for the weavers and artisans of Kashi. Not only are they being trained under different skill develoment programs, their financial capital need is also being taken care of with MUDRA loans. Younger generation of weavers are being given education to retain them in the valuable profession.