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Govt to extend financial support to people working in handicrafts: LG

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Inaugurates Jammu HAAT along with union minister

Jammu: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha along with Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, and DoPT today inaugurated the Jammu Haat at Exhibition Ground here and pledged government support to the people working in the handicrafts sector.

The Jammu Haat, constructed at a cost of Rs 31.63 crores is an outcome of the long-pending demand of the local craftsmen, especially the women artisans, to have a state-of-the-art exhibition venue where local crafts can be displayed and they can directly connect with the buyers.

According to an offi9cial press release, speaking on the occasion, the LG observed that the Jammu Haat shall act as nerve center of exhibition activity of local art, crafts and for the sale of various local handicrafts, handloom products and small scale industrial products.

“The inauguration of Jammu Haat is a celebration of the exquisite workmanship and tradition of the local craftsmen of the UT,” he added.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union MoS said that when India is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav’,75 years of independence, the next 25 years are going to be crucial for the nation’s growth and progress.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that “by 2047 when India would emerge as ‘Vishwa Guru’ on its 100 years of independence, it will be an absolute India consisting of east, west, north, and south, of which Jammu & Kashmir is also a part & thus people of Jammu must remain steadfast and prepare themselves for that important historical moment.”

On the ongoing public outreach program in the UT of J&K, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that after PM Modi took oath for the second term, ‘Mission J&K’ was “strongly emphasized, of which one of the important steps taken has been the extensive public outreach program going on these days.”

The LG noted that Jammu Haat will be a unique marketplace, in the heart of the city and will display the richness of J&K’s culture. It will serve as a platform for organizing buyer-seller meets creating opportunities for enhancing local business and exports on a permanent basis by connecting local artisans with a multitude of markets, he added.

He said that the Haat will empower the local entrepreneurs to build successful businesses by providing high-quality training programs, advisory services and this access will help people achieve economic self-sufficiency through small business development, besides promoting local heritage and tourism.

“I believe that Jammu Haat can bring about a massive change in the handicrafts, handloom and local industry at the grassroots level in Jammu,” the LG added.

As per the official press release, he said that the tradition of handicrafts, handlooms has been part of our society for the last 10,000 years. “Our primary focus is to scale up the local industries of handloom and handicrafts to global level,” he added.

The LG also noted that the UT government is not only committed to the preservation and development of local art but also for the social and economic upliftment of lakhs of people associated with the handicrafts sector in J&K.

He recalled that the ‘Karkhandar’ scheme started in August this year aimed to create a bridge between traditional crafts and market, besides training the artisans, weavers associated with this rich heritage. The scheme broadly aims to revive the languishing crafts; upscale the learning techniques of trainees; improve the wages of the craftsmen through collectivization and creating linkages with producer organizations to inculcate entrepreneurial skills and aptitude to the trainees.

“Under the ‘Karkhandar’ scheme during the training beneficiaries will be given an honorarium of Rs 2,000 per month and an additional Rs 25,000 to buy raw materials and other items. After the training, all the craftsmen and weavers who want to start their own unit will be provided all possible financial assistance from the administration,” the LG said.

Besides extending financial support to the people associated with local crafts, the UT government is making sustained efforts to promote the branding of GI tagged handicrafts on priority basis so as to provide international market to the artists through e-commerce. Very soon Basohli painting, Basohli pashmina products, Kishtwar loi and Chikriwood craft will also get the GI tag, the LG added.

The LG said that a major part of the Udhampur Industrial Estate has been reserved for women entrepreneurs. “Similarly, Jammu Haat will also act as an exclusive hub for women entrepreneurs associated with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and will play an important role in the sustainable economic growth of the entire region,” he added.

The LG said that the UT government is making committed efforts for youth empowerment, especially women, through programmes like Hausla, Himayat, Mumkin, Parwaz, Umeed, Tejaswini, Sankalp, Saath, Rise Together, etc. Besides, youth clubs have been established in all Panchayats, making the youth a partner in the governance process and UT’s development.

In the last few months, around 20,000 youth have been empowered financially to start their enterprises, he added.

The LG also announced the extension of financial assistance to the artisans and youth who want to start their enterprise in the field of traditional crafts or any other small scale industrial unit.

“There will be no limit as far as the numbers are concerned. We will reach out to every person. In Jammu division our aim is to provide financial support to two lakh artisans and youngsters willing to start their own business,” he added.

The LG also said that under ‘One District One Product’ scheme, PM Modi has transformed the economically backward districts into engines of inclusive development with the promotion of local skills and arts.

The LG lauded the efforts of Industries department, “which worked with full dedication and fulfilled the years old demand of the people of Jammu.”

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