In order to organise and standardise the Indian handicrafts, Government of India has registered approximately 22.85 lakh artisans under Pahchan initiative. Moreover, 35 crafts have been identified as endangered crafts and 92 crafts have been registered under Geographical Indication Act, while replying to a question, Minister of State of Textiles, Ajay Tamta, said the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Handicraft is an unorganised and diversified sector with an estimated 70 lakh artisans practicing 32 broad crafts categories throughout the country. For standardisation of carpet, carpet rating scheme has been formulated, but handicraft items are mainly made by hands. Beauty of handicrafts lies in the artistic hands of the artisans and each handicraft product is different from other even if it is made by same artisan using same raw material. The Government has taken initiatives to establish authenticity of handmade products. For this purpose, scheme of handicraft mark has been conceptualised and handicraft mark for wood craft is being formulated on pilot basis, the minister further said informed the lower house of Indian Parliament.
Further to create awareness and celebrate success of GI registered crafts, commemorative postage-stamp on five crafts namely Kutch Embroidery, Karnataka Bronzeware, Maddalam of Palkkad, Sikki Grass Product of Bihar and Blue Pottery of Jaipur was released on December 12, 2018, Tamta added.
Direct marketing portal for handicraft artisans has been launched to provide direct market access facility to genuine handicraft artisans including tribal artisans working in the far flung rural areas. Any handicraft artisan registered under Pachchan can utilise this portal for marketing their products. Till date 302 artisans have been registered on the portal. India Handmade Bazaar portal has been established by the department itself. Digital market place is also in place, the minister further said in the Lok Sabha.