The government through convergence of various ministries is working on a plan to promote tribal, handicrafts community and fill the various gaps, Union Textile Minister, Smriti Irani said at an Assocham event held in New Delhi today.
“I had a meeting three days ago with the minister in-charge for tribal affairs and we are propagating a plan between two ministries so that there is convergence of effort to ensure things like uniqueness of their craft, the fact that they have challenge of not understanding the amount of opportunity the market has to offer to them, social challenges with regards to education, healthcare are met including housing,” said Irani while inaugurating an ‘Assocham Global Investors’ India Forum.’
“So we are preparing a plan to ensure, not only in the tribal community but in the handicrafts community per se, we have these interventions with convergence of various ministries and we reach out,” she added.
“I think one of the biggest challenges in the handicrafts sector as I have said, is that those who were interested in their care between the central and state government or between state government and administration at the district level, the gaps arose in those areas which have not been filled for too long because it was nobody’s baby, so now we are hoping that we bridge that gap,” further said the Minister.
“ …when you look at the north-east tribal community, you see them coming out with lovely handlooms as well but the challenge there has been that there needs to be a streamlined process of engagement across government in the federal structure so that it benefits the last mile individual, so that’s what we are hoping to do,” said Irani.
In terms of an intervention for soldiers, how they can be better protected through clothing, she said, “We have identified within the Ministry, our engagement with the Ministry of Defence as to what kind of support that we can give, the industry can have a huge intervention, not only from R&D (research and development) perspective but also from investment perspective, so that we self-support our systems, our army for their needs be it at Siachen or any other station. This includes our forces like BSF, CISF because they also have these technical textile needs.”
Highlighting the various challenges being faced by the power loom sector in India, she said, “There are many complex issues ranging from subsidising for up-gradation of looms onwards to even providing money so that renewable energy can be used for looms, we are working out some kind of support for the entire sector but my biggest concern is for those who have one-two looms or less than eight looms because till now most of the money has gone to people who are organised better, not the individual power weaver, where everything is shutting down.”