PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme will revive handicraft traditions
(Organizer weekly has published this article on 11.03.2023)
The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech has announced the much-awaited Prime Minister Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme. It is envisaged that this innovative scheme will improve the living condition of millions of artisans across the country who have contributed to the phenomenal growth of the Indian economy in the past centuries. Their ability to add high value to material available in the natural environment will be revived; the new scheme will help the artisans to improve the quality, scale and reach of their products; it will integrate their products with the MSME value chain. Along with financial support, the artisans will receive skill training, modern digital technology, and linkage with local and global handicraft markets. It is mentioned in the scriptures that the forefathers of Vishwakarmas had built Dwaraka, the capital city of Lord Krishna. They have built magnificent palaces, temples, forts, and water harvesting structures on hilltops, etc; their scientific innovations baffle modern scientists. The PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme is expected to revive the rich Indian craft traditions and encourage the artisans to enrich the heritage sector. The utility, purpose, grace, artistry, and aesthetic achieved by the Vishwakarmas in creating magnificent palaces, forts, temples Gurudwars, Pagodas, and Stupas across the country cannot be recreated; they have given India world-class heritage sites which will function as priceless social capital. Indians will see the common bond in our cultural heritage; they will take pride in our history, heritage, and culture. Thanks to the contribution of the Vishwakarmas who have left their mark on every heritage site.
Minakshi temple in Madurai
Even today the Vishwakarmas still live in the nook and corners of India to create bewitching artistry on organic substances available in nature. Their creative skill and imagination add high value to the objects which cannot be created in industries.
The sculpture of Lord Buddha in Ladakh
The artisans still contribute to economic growth. There has been a phenomenal increase in the export of Indian handicrafts. During 2021-22, India exported handicrafts worth US $ 4.35 billion, a 25.7% increase from the previous year. But, the potential threat to Indian handicrafts is increasing day by day due to the mass production of lookalike Indian handicrafts in Chinese factories. Though China doesn’t produce the exact products, they reproduce similar motifs and designs on utility and decorative items with advanced digital technologies and machines. Whatever they make will not match the handmade Indian items; each item made by the Indian artisan with skill and imagination has a distinct appeal; and each is a class apart.
The fabrics, the utility, and the decorative items mass-produced in industries are lifeless and can’t match the products handcrafted by skilled Indian artisans who can make the human figures literally talk to the viewers.
The USP of the Indian handicraft is always its artistry which the artisans bring out with skill and imagination. It is expected that the new scheme will protect and promote handicraft skills and encourage artisans to make more artistic products. India will continue to dominate the global handicraft bazaars.
Creating an art object is a godly profession; an artisan lives in communion with god while creating his art. He is forgetful of his food, family, and profit; the only objective is to get creative satisfaction from his work. The new scheme is expected to increase the profit margin of the artisans and save them from the worry of managing their own families. Prime Minister Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme will create the right environment for the artisans who can build wealth and bring glory to India with their gifted talents.
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