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Free toolkit to be distributed to minority, SC/ST and BPL artisans: Union Textiles Minister

New Delhi, Nov 19: Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today distributed PAHCHAN identity cards to artisans of five clusters of Gujarat, namely Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli and Kalol. She also announced that 20 artisans of each of these five clusters will be imparted training under Guru Shishya Parampara, where nationally acclaimed designers will train the artisans.

The Minister announced that artisans belonging to minority communities, Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and BPL families will be provided free tool kits as per their art. She said that the PAHCHAN card will give national identity to the artisans and that they will be covered under a national database. Artisans would be able to get benefit of any government scheme through the PAHCHAN card. Smt. Irani announced that the Ministry will organize insurance camps in February at the places where artisans live, and provide them credit guarantee and insurance schemes at their doorstep.

The camp for “PAHCHAN” was launched on 7th October, 2016 nationwide, to ensure a unique identity to the handicraft artisans of the nation. The artisan cards being distributed to the artisans shall essentially provide the following benefits:
* Easy loan, Insurance and Credit guarantee
* Easy to avail benefits of the schemes run by Government of India
* Easy to participate in any domestic/ international fair/event
* The artisan can get the benefit of life insurance and Rs. 1200 per year for the artisan’s children
studying between class IX and class XII

The Minister distributed the PAHCHAN cards at Ahmedabad Haat, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad after inaugurating the Thematic Exhibition on Handicrafts products being organized at the venue. The Exhibition will remain open for public till 24th of November 2016.

The fair has been conceptualized with a view to provide a direct marketing platform for innovative products developed by 20 handicrafts artisans from various parts of India, covering different crafts like Tie & Dye, Patchwork, Embroidery & Jewellery. Different types of craft are on display with live demonstrations during this period. The event will showcase the best of Indian Handicrafts in quality, design and versatility from all over the country. The programme is being organized at a grand scale, as an exclusive fair for Handicraft products in India, to increase visibility of the products in domestic market.

The programme will also benefit artisans from all over India who are unable to participate in International Fairs due to high cost. The space rental and infrastructure are being provided free of cost to these participants.

The fair is being promoted and marketed through Council of Handicrafts Development Corporations (COHANDS), with financial assistance from the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India.

Dr. Nirmalaben Wadhwani, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat; Dr. Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, Member of Parliament, Ahmedabad West; and Shri Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India were also present on the occasion.

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