Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Artisan activity as part of 'Rural Development'

A meeting is to be held at the Ministry of Rural Development tomorrow, to look at the draft guidelines prepared by the Ministry to assist handweavers and other craftspersons under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. Its a welcome step in a way, because  it means that artisans and weavers may possibly get some government support from a Ministry other than Textiles under which artisans and weavers have only a semi-visible existence. Also because it is an official recognition that artisan activity forms a major part of rural manufacture, and has tremendous scope for export.

At first reading the guidelines appear to be quite cumbersome and therefore daunting. It is not quite clear who exactly they are meant for. Is the government outsourcing the implementation to NGOs? Or are artisan groups themselves to form Self Help Groups and apply for the funding from the Ministry?

We presume that once they're finalized the guidelines will be available on the Ministry's website for all to comment on, including artisans themselves, who do not seem to have been consulted yet.

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