In her budget speech, the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced the much-awaited Prime Minister Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme. It is envisaged that this innovative scheme will improve the living condition of millions of artisans across the country who have contributed to the phenomenal growth of the Indian economy in the past centuries. Their ability to add high value to material available in the natural environment will be revived; the new scheme will help the artisans to improve the quality, scale and reach of their products; it will integrate their products with the MSME value chain.
Know all about ‘PM Vishwakarma’ Scheme
Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said the scheme has a financial outlay of Rs 13,000 crore. “Under this scheme, loans up to Rs 1 lakh will be provided on liberal terms,” he said. The Prime Minister had said in his address to the nation that the scheme will empower people with traditional skills.
“In the days to come, we will launch a scheme on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, benefiting individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the OBC community. Weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, barbers, and such families will be empowered through the Vishwakarma Yojana,” the PM said.
Objective of the ‘PM Vishwakarma’ Scheme
The PM Vishwakarma Scheme aims to improve the quality, scale and reach of products and services of artisans and craftspeople and to integrate them with the domestic and global value chain. This would result in the economic empowerment of such workers, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Communities, women, transgender and other weaker sections of the society.
Along with financial support, the artisans will receive skill training, modern digital technology, and linkage with local and global handicraft markets. It is mentioned in the scriptures that the forefathers of Vishwakarma had built Dwarka, the capital city of Lord Krishna. They have built magnificent palaces, temples, forts, and water harvesting structures on hilltops; their scientific innovations baffle modern scientists.
The PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme is expected to revive the rich Indian craft traditions and encourage the artisans to enrich the heritage sector. The utility, purpose, grace, artistry, and aesthetic achieved by the Vishwakarma in creating magnificent palaces, forts, temples, Gurudwaras, Pagodas, and Stupas across the country cannot be recreated; they have given India world-class heritage sites which will function as priceless social capital. Indians will see the common bond in our cultural heritage and take pride in our history, heritage, and culture. Thanks to the contribution of the Vishwakarmas, who have left their mark on every heritage site.
Even today, the Vishwakarma still live in the nook and corners of India to create bewitching artistry on organic substances available in nature. Their creative skill and imagination add high value to the objects which cannot be created in industries.
The artisans still contribute to economic growth. There has been a phenomenal increase in the export of Indian handicrafts. During 2021-22, India exported handicrafts worth US $ 4.35 billion, a 25.7 per cent increase from the previous year. But, the potential threat to Indian handicrafts is increasing daily due to the mass production of lookalike Indian handicrafts in Chinese factories. Though China doesn’t produce the exact products, they reproduce similar motifs and designs on utility and decorative items with advanced digital technologies and machines. Whatever they make will not match the handmade Indian items; each item made by the Indian artisan with skill and imagination has a distinct appeal, and each is a class apart.
The fabrics, the utility, and the decorative items mass-produced in industries are lifeless. They can’t match the products handcrafted by skilled Indian artisans who can make the human figures talk to the viewers.
The USP of the Indian handicraft is always its artistry which the artisans bring out with skill and imagination. The new scheme is expected to protect and promote handicraft skills and encourage artisans to make more artistic products. India will continue to dominate the global handicraft bazaars.
Creating an art object is a godly profession; an artisan lives in communion with god while creating his art. He forgets his food, family, and profit; the only objective is to get creative satisfaction from his work. The new scheme is expected to increase the profit margin of the artisans and save them from the worry of managing their own families. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman Scheme will create the right environment for the artisans who can build wealth and bring glory to India with their gifted talents.