Corporates told to give handlooms, handicraft products as gift items

August 13th, 2012 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The textiles ministry is organising a conclave appealing to Indian industries to source domestic handlooms and handicrafts for corporate gifting instead of regular gift such as sweets thus also giving a fillip to the sector which needs recognition on a larger platform.

“The aim of this event is to create awareness about the versatility of craftsmanship of Indian hand-made goods and weaves among the corporate and industrial sector of India and forge a partnership with them for preservation and promotion of the same,” said Kiran Dhingra, secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

“We are hopeful that they (corporates) will (do so) because they have the CSR (corporate social responsibiliy) money… we have targeted the ones with large turnovers. They can support them with design investment-cum-creation of a market,” she added.

The ministry has invited over 400 corporates and industrial houses and over 350 of them, including IDBI Bank, Hindustan Fibre, Metro Hospitals and ITC, have shown keen interest.

The exhibition — Hastkala Conclave — which is scheduled Aug 17 will act as an introductory platform for the corporates and the workers.

It will have three components — display of handicrafts and handloom by master craftpersons and weavers, a demonstration by them and seminars on market promotion of Indian handicrafts and handloom in organized retail sector.

“Sourcing gifts is just one aspect. There are several things that can be done once the two groups come into direct contact. The workers and their families can be provided support for improving their living conditions,” S.S. Gupta, development commisioner, Handicrafts told IANS.

“The corporates can also spend some of their CSR fund to adopt handloom and handicrafts clusters and take care of primary health services of these people, can help them who are struggling with bad water supplies, roads and lighting problems,” he added.

The handloom and handicraft sectors provide direct employment to more than 15 million artisans, crafts persons and weavers etc. mainly belonging to economically and socially weaker sections of the society in the interiors of the country.

The share of Indian handicrafts in the world market is less than two percent as against China’s share of 30 percent.

Out of the estimated production of Rs.30,000 crore of handicrafts including carpet, around Rs.17,000 crore is being exported. In the handloom sector, cloth of more than 6,930 million sq mts is being produced. The export of handloom cloth stood at Rs.2,503.23 crore in 2011-12.

The draft report of the steering committee for the 12th Five Year Plan has identified handlooms as one of the priority sectors that will create large scale employment opportunities.

It has proposed steps such as celebrity endorsement, celebration of ‘India Weaves Week’, and creation of a unified ‘Handmade in India’ brand to promote Indian craft product.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will be providing support to this initiative by the ministry.

Specific marketing requirement will be met by organisations like Central Cottage Industry Corporation (CCIC) and Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation (HHEC).

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