Yojana - Back

Sustaining Artisans Economically

What are Handicrafts?

1. They include the products produced by hands or/and a combination of hands and simple technology.

2. Some of these may be decorative, religious, historical, artistic, ornamental, daily utilities, symbolic and so on.

3. They are known for their use of locally available raw materials like bamboo, clay, stones, threads, canes, fabrics, etc.

4. This sector also includes village-cottage industries, handloom and carpet sectors.

Why is Handicrafts sector important?

1. In non-agricultural or lean seasons, handicrafts become an alternative means of subsistence for people in rural areas and safeguard them from food insecurity.

2. There were 68.86 lakh artisans as per the census of handicrafts conducted during 11th Five Year Plan.

3. It also supports people engaged directly or indirectly in the export of handicrafts which is a potential source of foreign exchange earnings.

How does it contribute to the economy?

1. It contributes to the tourism sector of the country. Handicrafts add value to the tourist spots and attract tourists providing an income for local artisans.

2. As per government sources, in the year 2015-16, the total production of handicrafts including handmade carpets was Rs. 41,418 crores and export of handicrafts was Rs. 30,939 crores.

Which steps have been taken to promote Handicrafts market?

1. Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) organizes product-specific shows and also Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair bi-annually.

2. Marketing Development Assistance (M.D.A) and Market Access Initiative (M.A.I) envision better marketing of these products through fairs, exhibitions, and producers-buyers meet.

3. India handloom Bazaar, an online marketing portal based on the marketing of the handicrafts through facilitating direct interaction between buyers and sellers.

4. Around 400 Hastkala Sahyog Shivirs were organized in 200 districts in October 2017 that supported a large number of weavers and artisans in strengthening their micro enterprises through various measures.

Where does the focus need to be?

1. The focus is now on artisans and their enterprises to utilize the facilities enabling them to contribute towards the economy as well as socio-economic upliftment of the community.

2. The artisans and their associations should move forward to get the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to enhance the credibility of their products.

3. 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.

4. On the micro level, issues like unemployment, poverty, migration, and indebtedness will be addressed.