Handicraft, handloom cornerstone for self-reliant, confident India: Goyal

New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that handicraft and handloom are cornerstones for a self-reliant, confident India that is engaging with the rest of the world.

Addressing the Shilp Guru and National Awards organised by Ministry of Textiles, he said that our ‘shilpkars’ have, down the centuries, developed their own – often unique – methods and techniques to bring life into stone, metal, sandalwood and clay. They had, a very long time ago, perfected scientific and engineering processes far ahead of their times. Their creations revealed their sophisticated knowledge and highly developed aesthetic sense.

“Production of handicraft items provides livelihood opportunities to lakhs of people living in rural areas at a low capital investment, and has a good domestic and international market, which forms parts of the Indian heritage, culture and tradition,” the minister said.

Goyal said that the production of handicraft items holds special significance in the economic empowerment of women living in the rural areas, as production can be made within the house along with other household chores. Women are a large part of the work force and constitute over 50% of the artisans’ sector.

He said that importance of crafts in the socio-economic livelihood of the vast segment of the rural population cannot be overemphasized. While the award is given in recognition of excellent craftsmanship and the major role played by them in continuing craft as a vital part of traditional heritage, it is also necessary to recognize product excellence keeping in view the global market trends.

Goyal said that promotion of handicrafts not only ensures a balance between the traditional values and contemporary outlook of a nation but also bestows shelter for skilful hands of the country.

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