(GIST OF YOJANA) Sustaining Artisans Economically [APRIL-2019]
(GIST OF YOJANA) Sustaining Artisans
Sustaining Artisans Economically
A wide range of beautiful handicrafts form one of the most significant
traits of the rich cultural heritage of our country. Be it Kutch embroidery
of Gujarat or Zari-Zardozi and Chikankari of Uttar Pradesh, wooden toys of
Karnataka or bamboo craft of Assam, puppets of Rajasthan or Sikki, Tikuli
and Madhubani arts of Bihar; all these are not only the traditional arts of
the respective provinces but also form an important source of alternative
income for the artisans. This is one of those market segments that have led
India to establish its distinct identity in the international market.
About handicrafts product
Handicrafts include the products produced by hands /and or a
combination of hands and simple technology. Like the unique diversity of our
country, our handicrafts are also very diverse and can be placed in
innumerable categories. Some of these may be decorative, religious,
historical, artistic, ornamental, daily utilities, symbolic and so on.
The sector also includes village-cottage industries, handloom and
carpet sectors. Handicrafts are known for their use of locally available raw
materials. This is again a huge range consisting of natural and artificial
inputs like bamboo, clay, stones, threads, canes, fabrics, beads, glasses,
natural and artificial dyes, motifs, metals, ceramics, and glasses, to name
Almost 70 per cent of our country’s population residing in rural areas
is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture as the primary source of
livelihood. In non-agricultural or lean seasons, handicrafts become an
alternative means of subsistence for this population and safeguards them
from food insecurity.
In this way, handicrafts become an important source of livelihood for a
large chunk of the Indian population. There were 68.86 lakh artisans as per
the census of handicrafts conducted during 11th Five Year Plan. The
magnitude and strength of this sector can be very well understood from this
fact. The sector provides employment in various forms to the artisans. This
can be production of raw materials like motifs, production of finished goods
and their marketing. There is another sub-segment of this sector employing
another set of people. They are the people engaged directly or indirectly in
export of handicrafts. The export segment of handicrafts is emerging as a
potential source of foreign exchange earnings. taken by the government
According to government source it was estimated in the year
2015-16 that total production of handicraft including handmade carpets was
to tune of Rs.41,418 crores and export handicrafts was Rs.30,939 crores.
Market Development Assistance (M.D.A) and Market Access Initiative
(M.A.I.) envision better marketing of these products through fairs,
exhibitions and producers-buyers meets. ‘India HandloomBazaar’, an
online-marketing portal is based on marketing of the handicrafts through
facilitating direct interaction between buyers and sellers.
Around four hundred Hastkala Sahyog Shivirs were organised in two
hundred districts in October 2017 that supported a large number of weavers
and artisans in strengthening their micro enterprises through various
The focus is now on the artisans and their enterprises to utilise
the facilities enabling them to contribute towards our economy as well as
socio-economic upliftment of the community. The artisans and their
associations should move forward to get Geographical Indication (GI) tag to
enhance the credibility of their products. GI tag is the sign on the product
showing its region of origin. Some of the handicrafts which have received GI
tag are-Kangra paintings, Varanasi brocades and saris, Bustar wooden craft,
Villianur terracotta works etc.
On a macro level, initiatives to strengthen the sector will
support in preserving this cultural heritage and transferring it to the next
generation as a potential source of livelihood.
While on the micro level, various socio- economic issues like
unemployment, poverty, migration and indebtedness will be addressed.
In turn, these will add to strengthening of the Indian economy and
thereby ameliorating the conditions of Indian society.