Himachali artisans get a new lease of life

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has been performing multifarious activities not only to ensure the overall growth of handicraft sector but also for the upliftment of artisans and craftspersons engaged in the sector in different craft clusters of the Country – particularly women belonging to weaker sections of the society, informed Rakesh Kumar, Director General – EPCH.

Kumar said that the creative minds of the craftsmen of Himachal Pradesh have given birth to an astonishing range of handicrafts. Himachal Pradesh has a lot to offer. Stones, metal statues, pottery, paintings, rugs, carpets, shawls and jewellery are the exquisite crafts of the state. But there are lots of challenges being faced by the artisans and craftpersons of Himachal such as lack of design development, skill upgradation and market linkages. These challenges are hampering the overall marketability of the products.

Looking at the great demand of Himachali products in the International markets, EPCH in association with PRAYAS (An NGO working with artisans of Himachal Pradesh) have organised an orientation programme at Sujanpur to provide handholding to the artisans by enhancing their skills through structured curriculum based skilling progrmmes, design development, production process to ensure quality norms, International product regulations and their participation in the fairs to enable them to create direct marketing linkages with the overseas buying community further elaborated Kumar.

Also present and spoke on the occasion were O P Malhotra, Shilp Guru, Arun Chandan, Regional Director, National Medical Plant Board, Vijay Kumar, General Manager, DIC, Avdesh Kumar, Addl Director, O/o DC (Handicrafts) and Sandeep Sachan, Associate Professor, NIFT.

Shilpi Baekta, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sujanpur, Himachal Pradesh as well as Dr Arun Chandan, Regional Director, National Medical Plant Board also spoke on the occasion and encouraged the entrepreneurs.

Rakesh Kumar said that this handholding will definitely improve market linkages and ultimately result in improved livelihood.

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