(GIST OF YOJANA) Sustaining Artisans Economically [APRIL-2019]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Sustaining Artisans Economically


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 a few.


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Significance on economic growth

  • 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 measures.
  •  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.

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