Indian leather industry gets a boost

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari distributed advanced leather tool kits among 150 leather artisans, during an event held on on September 24

It was dream come true for leather artisans hailing from Delhi and neighbouring areas, when Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari rechristened them as Charm-Chikitsak (Leather Doctors) and distributed advanced leather tool kits among nearly 150 leather artisans on September 24, at a function held under the aegis of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at NDMC Building here.

Speaking on the occasion organised under 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration Year of Mahatma Gandhi, the minister said that leather industry is one of the pioneer village industries and leather art/craft has immense potential of job creation, especially in the rural areas. "I am happy that KVIC has decided to manifest the idea of 'Antyodaya' (by Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay) and 'Swablamban'. The aim is to help leather artisans with macro-financial assistance so that they may start producing the leather products as per the market need," he said and informed that the KVIC has so far established 419 units within last three years under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).

"It is our prime duty to support this marginalised lot, who has either switched to another business or the second generation has not turned up to the vocation. I am sure such leather tool kits may enhance the value-added leather art and craft products," he stated, adding, "Our government has considered leather and craft industries as one of the core village industries under 'Gramodyog Vikas Yojana'."

He also appealed the leather artisans to improve quality of their products and assured that the government will give them the needed financial assistance.

Appreciating KVIC's efforts in uplifting the marginalised community, Gadkari further mentioned: "In the coming days, leather art and craft industry will be one of the significant village industries under KVIC and the lost glory in this sector will be regained, for which KVIC will be recognised. MSME has extended additional support of Rs 25 crores for the overall development of leather art and craft industry."

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, in his welcome address, said that believing on Mahatma Gandhi's principle of self-reliance and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mantra of inclusive growth, KVIC is committed to ensuring the development of every person in the society. "With these programs, we can bring change in the lives of marginalised people. It will not only increase the income of charm-chikitsak in manifold, but will also give them social security and acceptance," he said. "In the current financial year, KVIC would distribute another 70,000 leather tool kits among the trained leather-doctors," he further informed.

Among others, who addressed this function were New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi and former Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi.

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