Handloom, handicrafts schemes

According to the ministry of Textiles, it is implementing various schemes namely National Handicrafts Development Programme (NHDP), Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS), National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) and Handloom Raw Material Supply Scheme (RMSS) to boost handicrafts and handloom sector. Among others, under NHDP, various interventions such as cluster development, marketing support, skill and design trainings, infrastructure establishment, raw material depot financial support, social security coverage of artisans & weavers are being undertaken.

CHCDS provides requisite support and linkages in terms of adequate infrastructure, technology, product diversification, design development, raw material banks, marketing and promotion, social security and other components that are vital for sustainability of artisans and craftsmen engaged in the Handicrafts sector.

Also, as per NHDP, clusters are identified and financially assisted through various interventions like provision of upgraded looms and accessories, solar lighting units, construction of workshed, product & design development, technical and common infrastructure, marketing of handloom products in domestic/overseas markets, concessional loans under MUDRA Scheme, and social security for the beneficiaries.

Raw Material Supply Scheme, it said, is being implemented to make yarn available to handloom workers at reasonable price across the country. Freight charges are reimbursed for all types of yarn and 15% price subsidy is provided for cotton hank yarn, domestic silk, wool and linen and blended yarn of natural fibres, it said.

While there are these schemes, the ground situation suggests that awareness about them has not reached those who could avail it and in the process more and more jobs are created.

Kashmir enjoys a prominent position on the world map as regards handicrafts as well as handloom. Both these sectors need a special focus especially when machine made and fake goods are being sold in the name Kashmir brand which is detrimental to the future of these sectors.

To ensure long term survival of the Kashmir handicrafts and handloom, concrete efforts are needed, both in ensuring the quality as well as adequate production.  Those associated with trade should be taken care of and necessary support should be rendered to them. Efforts should be made to revive the sectors to utilize their potential.   The efforts should be such that they should improve the income level of the concerned significantly and their interests should be protected via authentic trade practices.

The government must also ensure no artisans and handloom weavers lose livelihood because of the lack of access to market and raw material.

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