Minister Biswajit hands over modernization of handicrafts scheme assistance to artisans, craftspersons

DIPR /TMB Report

 Imphal: Textiles, Commerce and Industry Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, today distributed Financial Assistance to National/State Awardees under the Scheme of Modernisation of Handicrafts for 2019-20. The Financial Assistance distribution ceremony, organised by the Directorate of Handlooms & Textiles, Manipur was held at the Conference Hall of the Minister’s Manipur Secretariat North Block office. 
Altogether 77 outstanding crafts-persons and artisans were selected for the assistance for the year 2019-20. The 77 selected crafts-persons and artisans including 7 National Awardees, 3 National Merit Awardees and 67 State Awardees. Speaking as the chief guest, Shri Biswajit said that today we are witnessing a lot of changes around us and we also have to act accordingly. 
He appreciated and congratulated the Awardees of the assistance scheme and said that they are being recognised for their tireless efforts. Today, we live in a competitive world and we need to improve quality of our products for value addition of our finished products. Shri Biswajit also spoke at length about MEETAC, which he said is an initiative of the present Governor of the State. He continued that under the scheme, the government is trying to provide standardization of finished products and at the same time provide a platform to market them.
 He further explained the importance of hand loom and handicraft in our society and said that we should encourage our youth including young entrepreneurs to enter the handloom and handicraft sector. Stating that handloom and handicraft sector can help in employment generation, he said that an increase in the number entrepreneurs will eventually help in the fight against unemployment.
 Further encouraging artisans and crafts-persons, the Minister also said that there are several opportunities which they can enjoy with hardwork. He said that under the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), the directorate has already submitted four projects.
 Observing that there is no substitute for hard work, he said National and State Awards are recognisation of one’s hard work. He further said that although there is a lockdown in the State due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to sustain our livelihood by properly following the protocols and guidelines issued from time to time by the government. We have to enhance our economic activities in order to minimise unemployment.
 Commission, Devesh Deval said that the status of handloom and handicraft is an indication of our strong culture and tradition. The directorate has made rapid improvement over the years. 
He further said that young entrepreneurs should apply for the Start Up schemes so that they can avail both subsidy as well as loan facilities. He further expressed the need to increase spaces in e-market.
 In his welcome address, Director K Lamlee Kamei stated that Manipur has 22 National Handicrafts Awardees which is the highest number in the entire NE region of the country. It is instituted by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. In addition, Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Government of Manipur has conferred State Handicrafts Award to 257 outstanding handicrafts artisans till date. Thus, Manipur has conferred highest number of State Award to handicraft artisans in the North East State. While proposing the vote of thanks, Joint Director of Handlooms & Textiles, Manipur Shri E.Jiten stated that only National Awardees were invited in this formal function for receiving the financial assistance as there are restrictions for mass gathering due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. He said with this formal distribution, the financial assistance of 77 artisans will now be transferred to their respective bank account. Under the scheme, financial assistance at Rs. 2 lakh will be provided to National Awardee and Rs. 1 lakh to National Merit and State Awardee. A total of Rs. 84 lakh will be provided to 77 outstanding craftsperson for 2019-20. 

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