Spare a though for the cobbler, plumber, barber, coir weavers, traditional toy makers, garland makers, washermen who have been serving us since long. Did you notice that despite serving the society for so many years and decades, they live a very difficult and precarious life with nothing to bank upon. However, now there is a ray of hope for them as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the PM Vishwakarma scheme on his birthday on September 17, in capital to support artisans and workers .
After giving green signal to Vishwakarma Scheme, PM Modi has also met a cobbler and others to know about their trade. Thanks to this ambitious scheme, beneficiaries will get Rs 15,000 each as toolkit incentives. Moreover, they would get collateral free enterprise development loans at concessional rate of interest. Naturally, the Vishwakarma scheme aims to improve the quality, scale, and reach of products and services available to artisans by exposing them to better and accessible raw material, tools, training on product development, etc. The beneficiaries will be integrated with international and domestic value chains by providing marketing, packaging and branding assistance as well as access to markets.
It is a fact that life is not easy for all those who are covered under the Vishwakarma scheme. Take the example of Raju. He is a cobbler from Delhi. He has to bear the brunt of the scorching sun and wait for customers from early in the morning till 9pm to earn his livelihood. His earnings hardly cross Rs 300 a day. With these meagre earnings, he has to fend to his family daily.
If his luck fails, he would even return home with just Rs 100. With the cost of living soaring rapidly, his wife tries her best to run the family within whatever her husband earns. Although the family is struggling to meet their both ends meet, the couple never thought of discontinuing its children’s education. The couple has three children including two daughters, with the eldest son just having completed class 12. One hopes that Vishwakarma scheme would change their lives for better.
It goes without saying that the primary goals of the program is to improve the quality and reach of artisans’ and crafts people’s products and services, as well as to integrate them into domestic and international value chains.
Agreed, the Government looks keen to improve the state of those live on the edge of our society, it is duty-bound to implement the PM Vishwakarma scheme in letter and spirit. However, we have noticed that several Government schemes could not be implemented in a proper way. Those who should be benefitted from the schemes do not get their due. The real beneficiaries have faced many problems in availing it. This is a huge matter of concern.
You would know that Narendra Modi Government has launched various schemes and policies such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atal Pension Yojana’. Despite the presence of developmental schemes, India is far behind in creating a harmonious and truly prosperous society. There are allegations that Mid Day Meal scheme has failed in many states due to subversion of funds -as the foods were not rich in quality or quantity.
Meanwhile, it said that under the scheme, artisans and craftspeople will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card along with a credit support of up to Rs 1 lakh (in the first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) with a concessional interest rate of 5per cent. The credit guarantee fess would be borne by the Union Government.
The artisans would have to go through a skill verification phase followed by a five-day training session. They would provide with an advanced training session for 15 or more days and during the training period they would get a stipend of Rs 500 per day.
The scheme also has a corpus of Rs 250 crore for quality certification, branding, advertising, publicity and other marketing activities. The scheme was approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) on 16 August with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore for a period of five years (FY24-28).
The scheme will provide support to artisans and craftspeople of rural and urban areas across the country and 18 traditional trades have been identified as initial beneficiary sectors. The identified artisans and craftsmen include carpenters, boat makers, blacksmiths, hammers and tool kit makers, locksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors, stone breakers, cobblers, shoesmiths, masons, coir weavers, traditional toy makers, barber, garland makers, washermen and tailors.
A senior Union Government official said that the eligibility requirements include a minimum age of 18 years and the applicants should not have availed loans under similar credit based self-employment schemes such as Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi, Mudra scheme among other central and State Government scheme in the past five years.
The applicants would have to give a self-declaration and the due diligence would be done by banks.The registration and benefits would also be restricted to one member of a family.
If you recall the Prime Minister Modi’s Independence Day speech, he had said that the Government would roll out the scheme within a month would roll out to improve the livelihood chances of traditional artists and craftspeople. Following the announcement, the Union Cabinet quickly approved the initiative, indicating the Government’s commitment to fostering and maintaining traditional skills and crafts.
The good thing is that the pro-active Uttar Pradesh Government is gearing up to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘PM Vishwakarma’ scheme on a large scale and efforts are being made to connect as many ‘Vishwakarma’ (skilled persons) with the scheme as possible from the state. The State Government aims to provide benefits of the scheme to skilled personnel associated with 18 different trades.The training will be held to enhance the skills of ‘Vishwakarma’ in all these trades through master trainers under the Skill Development Mission.
Finally, all those who have to implement the Vishwakarma scheme, they are duty bound to implement it letter and spirit. Any corruption in a scheme for the poor should not be tolerated.