Raipur: National Handicraft Awards Ceremony organized by Handicraft Division of Union Textile Ministry and State Government’s Gramodyog department was held in the city on Friday. Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani presided over the program while Chief Minister Raman Singh felicitated veteran and renowned sculptors and craftsmen of the country.
Addressing the gathering in t event held at Pandit Deendayal Auditorium here, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani said in the past 15 years during my visit to Chhattisgarh, the first words I have heard from Chief Minister is “Chhattisgarhiya Sable Badhiya”. This state has a large pool of talents and therefore it is my good fortune that I have been getting an opportunity to visit here again, she said.
Chief Minister Raman Singh said today I have met with the craftsmen who have been working for generations preserving our culture and heritage and keeping art alive. Under various schemes, the state government provides loans up to Rs three lakhs to the craftsman with a subsidy of Rs 1.5 lakhs.
Eight craftsmen received Shilp Guru Award 2016 including Mohd Matloob of Delhi, Gulam Haider Mirza of Jammu-Kashmir, Roopam Mathru of Odisha. They were also awarded Rs two lakhs along with a gold coin and shawl.
As many as 25 craftsmen were felicitated with National Award 2016 including Hema Devi of Bihar, Mamta Devi of Delhi, Mohammad Yakub Khatri and Abraham Hasan Khatri of Gujarat. They were awarded Rs one lakh along with shawl and certificates.
An official from state Gramodyog Department informed that this is national level ceremony has been organized for the first time in the state on special request of Chief Minister Raman Singh. Under the Union Textile Ministry’s scheme, 18 craftsmen of the state have been awarded National Award in various crafts till date.
Ashok Kumar Chakradhari was felicitated with national merit certificate for clay art this year. State Handicraft Development Board has awarded State-level Awards to 91 craftsmen for various crafts till date, said the official.
It was further informed that after formation of the state, the number of craftsmen in Chhattisgarh has increased from 2600 to 17 thousand. Bamboo art Project has been started in Gariaband, Mohla, and Manpur, and Bastar Handicraft Development Project is being conducted in Kondagaon.
Besides Design Development and Monthly Financial Aid Scheme has also been started for the craftsmen. To promote handicraft in Chhattisgarh, Board has sent a proposal of Integrated Design project worth Rs 26 crore 56 lakhs, which will benefit two thousand craftsmen families, the official said.