Extensive range of handicrafts reflects nation’s diversity, infinite creativity: President

New Delhi, Dec. 9 : President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said extensive range of indigenous handicrafts reflect our nation’s diversity and infinite creativity while presenting the National Awards and Shilp Guru Awards to master craftsperson’s for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Speaking on the occasion, President Mukherjee congratulated the award winners and master craftsperson’s. He appreciated their unique contribution to the preservation and promotion of Indian handicraft traditions and for enriching the cultural heritage of the country.

“Our indigenous handicrafts are a cherished aspect of our way of life. Their extensive range reflects our nation’s diversity and infinite creativity. Each geographic region and sub-region has its individual style and tradition that stems from the ancient life-rhythms of its society. Our shilpkaars have, down the centuries, developed their own, often unique, methods and techniques of bringing life into stone and metal, sandalwood and clay,” said President Mukherjee

“They had, many centuries ago, perfected scientific and engineering processes far ahead of their times. The creations of that time reveal their sophisticated knowledge and highly developed aesthetic sense,” he added.

The President said that production of handicraft items provides livelihood opportunities to millions of people living in rural areas.

“Handicrafts entail low capital investment and facilitate environmental conservation. They also empower disadvantaged segments like the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities thus making development inclusive and sustainable. Production of handicraft items holds particular significance in the economic empowerment of women living in the rural areas,” President Mukherjee added.

The President stated that concerted steps at various levels are necessary to provide a fillip to the handicrafts sector. These may include facilitation of easier access to credit from banks and other financial institutions and the promotion of these products in domestic and foreign markets. Universities, Corporate houses and Government departments can contribute by sponsoring and also undertaking research which results in new and innovative technologies that will enable upgradation of the traditional tools and designs of local artisans.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Textiles and Shri S. K. Panda, Secretary, Textiles. (ANI)