A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation NSFDC, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles in the presence of Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment and Smt. SmritiZubinIraniMinister of Textiles here today. Senior Officers of both the Ministries, DC (Handicrafts) and NSFDC were also present on the occasion.The basic objective of the MoU is to help Scheduled Caste artisans and their families by promoting production and marketing of high value quality Handicrafts products at cluster level in the field of Handicrafts, Cane & Bamboo, Artificial jewellery, Textiles (Hand printed, Hand Embroidery), Dolls & Toys, Stone Carving, Footwear, etc.Handicrafts Sector is the second largest economic activity after agriculture. There are around 12 lakh scheduled castes artisans in the country.
Most of the Scheduled Caste Artisans are pursuing various Handicrafts such as Cane & Bamboo in Assam, Textiles (Hand printed) in Gujarat & Punjab, Metal wares in Uttar Pradesh, Dolls & Toys in Karnataka, Theatre Costumes & Puppets in Andhra Pradesh etc. In this endeavor, both the MoU signing parties shall popularize the schemes of DC (Handicrafts) amongst the SC artisans through Awareness Programmes and advertisements in electronic/print media in artisan concentrated areas and collaborate for capacity building including skill upgradation and economic development of SC artisans and their families for achieving the desired outcome. Exhibitions/Fairs shall be organized by both the parties for providing marketing assistance to SC artisans for enhancing their earnings. Both the parties shall also organize relevant skill development programmes for upgradation of skills of the Scheduled Caste Artisans in clusters and also for sharing knowledge and experience.These efforts will provide marketing linkage to SC artisans/entrepreneurs in the country.