Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have come together to step up interventions for the economic development of an estimated 12 lakh scheduled caste artisans. An MoU was signed today between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSCFDC), a Central PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, with the objective of working together to improve the earnings of artisans across the country, belonging to Scheduled Castes categories. The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot. Textiles Secretary, Smt. Rashmi Verma and Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Smt. Latha Krishna Rao, were also present on the occasion.
The MoU provides for continuous and extensive collaboration between Office of DC (Handicrafts) and NSCDFC, aiming at the following:
Ø Need assessment and gap identification through popularising various schemes by holding awareness camps
Ø Extensive need-based skill upgradation in the identified clusters having dominant presence of Scheduled Caste artisans, in the field of innovative and market-friendly designs, and adoption of modern tools and techniques
Ø Enhanced participation of Scheduled Caste artisans and their producer groups in domestic and international marketing events
Ø Working capital credit for Scheduled Caste artisans at concessional rates, by combining the benefits provided by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
It has also been agreed in the MoU that the Office of the DC(Handicrafts) through its various schemes, will support NSCDFC in formulation of project reports, undertaking field studies for identifying felt needs of Scheduled Caste artisans, in addition to extending assistance of six Regional Offices and 52 Marketing & Service Extension Centres of the Office of the DC(Handicrafts).
The MoU was signed by Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Shri Alok Kumar, and Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NSCFDC, Shri Shyam Kapoor.