KVIC empowers 1K potter families of 11 districts in Rajasthan under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana

Jaipur: Khadi and Village Industries Commission's (KVIC) employment drive got a big push with distribution to 1,000 electric potter wheels and other pottery equipment to 1,000 trained potter families in Rajasthan. KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena on Sunday distributed the equipment at a function held in Udaipur in presence of local MP Arjun Lal Meena. The exercise, under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana of KVIC, will provide employment and sustainable livelihood to over 5000 people of the potters' community. The beneficiaries of Sunday's distribution program belong to 74 self-help groups (SHGs) across 11 districts of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Udaipur, Alwar, Dausa, Pratapgarh, Chittorgarh, Tonk, Jhalawar, Bhilwara and Banswara that are highly acclaimed for their exquisite clay pottery. Apart from electric potter wheels, 100 blunger machines has also been distributed.

These potters have been given 10-days training by KVIC. Distribution of 1000 electric potter wheels is one of the biggest such exercise in Rajasthan since the launch of Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in 2018. Since then, over 3000 electric potter wheels have been distributed in cities like Jaisalmer, Barmer, Kota, Jaipur, Dausa and Sri Ganganagar among others.

KVIC Chairman Saxena said the main objective behind the program is to empower the marginalised potters' community by ensuring their financial sustainability. "Empowering the Kumhar community, reconnecting them with the mainstream of development and reviving the dying art of pottery is the dream of the Prime Minister which is being realized by KVIC through Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana," Saxena said.

Rajasthan has a rich heritage of terracotta products. But the art of pottery began dying over the years owing to financial unviability. The potters started looking for other sources of livelihood due to heavy drudgery in the work and no market support. However, under Kumhar Sashaktikarn Yojana, KVIC is also provide marketing platform to these potters to sell their products and earn. Potters of Rajasthan have been selling their products to neighboring states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

"On the initiative of KVIC, the ministry of railway has earmarked 400 railway stations where only earthenware is used for serving eatables/beverages to passengers. These include 25 railway stations in Rajasthan like Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ajmer and others. This has provide a huge marketing platform to the potters. Railways will add another 100 railway stations to the list very soon. For the first time, KVIC has also started selling clay items like Diya through its online portal. This has enable these potters to sell their products in every part of the country," he said. Under Kumhar Sashaktikarn Yojana, KVIC has so far distributed nearly 25,000 electric potter wheels across the country. The advanced equipment has almost eliminated drudgery from pottery and increased their production by manifolds. On an average, the daily production of 150-200 kulhars on a traditional chaak has gone up to nearly 800 kulhars using electric chaak. Also, their average monthly income has gone up by 3 to 4 times using the modern equipment.

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