(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Crafts for Livelihood

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Rural Crafts for Livelihood


Rural Crafts for Livelihood


  • Rigveda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Greek historians, etc have mentioned the spinning, weaving, and high-quality cotton and silk in India.
  • These materials were traded and exported to different countries in ancient times also.
  • It was stated in a paper by Exim Bank (2019) that arts and crafts are a constituent of India’s creative economy.
  • Craft means an occupation, trade, or activity requiring manual dexterity or artistic skills. They are not only pleasing to the eye but also have utility.

Importance of Crafts

  • It is the backbone of the rural economy and provides employment to many people. It is estimated that there are approximately 200 million artisans in India.
  • Once promoted adequately, they can fetch foreign exchange earnings.
  • It can give a competitive global advantage.
  • It preserves India’s rich culture and tradition.


  • The handicraft industry is usually an unorganized sector in India’s economy.
  • Artisans are unable to gauge market dynamics. They have little knowledge to optimize social media outreach.
  • There is low penetration of technology in rural areas.
  • Inaccessibility of funds and poor institutional framework are other serious issues.
  • Despite superior skills, wages are not in accordance with income growth in other sectors.
  • According to the Fourth All India Handloom Census 2019-20, 66.3% of the weaver household earns less than Rs 5000 per month.

Interventions to Boost Handicraft Industry

  • The Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles implements schemes like National Handicraft Development Programme and Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme.
  • Artisans are mobilized under Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana to provide direct benefits, technology and infrastructure support, marketing support, etc.
  • ‘Shilp Guru’ awards and National Awards are given by the Ministry of Textiles to give recognition to legendary craftsmen for their excellence.
  • TRIFED is a national apex body under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Its main aim is retail marketing development of tribal handicrafts and handloom products. 
  • Several NGOs like Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) work with craft clusters to develop community-based enterprise 


  • The artisan economy is all-pervasive and crucial for inclusion as it primarily comprises women and marginalized groups. Initiatives like ‘Unity Malls’ and ‘crafts village’ are required to make the handicrafts industry a big source of livelihood.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra