Shubha Banerjee, Education officer, Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum

Indian handicraft is still the second largest industry, after agriculture sector in terms of providing subsistence to the masses, especially in rural sector. But despite a significant demand of indian handicrafts in global market industry seems to be straggling behind in comparison to other mainstream economic activities. Shubha Banerjee, Education officer, Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum in conversation with Authindia tries to explain the reasons and scopes of the craft sector in international trade.

How do you see the status of Indian Handicraft in main stream economic activities in India?

As of now it is really quite on lower side, but it is increasing year-wise with rise in global demand.

What according to you needs to be done to embolden the handicraft sector in India?

1. Proper database of art forms and artists region wise.
2. Proper marketing.
3. Training of artisans to produce contemporary products keeping the traditional designs intact.
4. The copyright law has to include the traditional arts and its practitioners.

Despite significant demand of Indian Handicrafts abroad, why does the industry struggle in catching up with other economic activities?

In my opinion, the institutional infrastructure for handicraft artisan needs significant improvement. It lacks skill development measures and requires more penetration of technology. There is a gap between the consumer demand and production. Cost of product and lack of financial assistance are also the reasons.

Kindly shed a light on any recent scheme or initiative taken by the government towards the upliftment of the industry?

Recent schemes like Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojna, Handicrafts Mega Cluster Mission (HMCM) Marketing support and services scheme and Research and Development scheme have been implemented by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts). These scheme are targeted for holistic upliftment of the handicraft industry.

How do you take this initiative of Authindia in promoting the Indian art and handicrafts in bringing awareness among the masses?

With a combination of a good team comprising of trained professionals/ scholars and good marketing experts, Authindia can definitely be successful in bringing awareness among the masses.

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