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Saturday, Dec 14, 2002

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Artisans lament lack of Govt patronage

Our Correspondent

The travel and transport allowances allotted to the artisans to market their products in national fairs and exhibitions had been withdrawn.

MADURAI, Dec. 13

LACK of financial support by the Government was adduced as the main problem afflicting the indigenous artisans at a one-day workshop organised by the Handicrafts Development Commission, Nagercoil, here.

The workshop organised on the occasion of the National Handicrafts Week, involved local artisans from the city and southern districts, to address their needs and problems.

The participants comprised representatives from Government agencies such as Nabard, DRDA and from women's SHGs involved in handicrafts production.

Mr L. Balu, Handicrafts Promotion Officer, said that more than 40 different handicrafts were being practised by more than 15,000 artisans in the State, with a turnover of about Rs 20 crore.

Mr Ramalingam, an artisan engaged in making clay toys, said that of late, owing to financial crunch, the travel and transport allowances allotted to the artisans to market their products in national fairs and exhibitions had been withdrawn and this had affected them.

The focus of the workshop was to improve the quality of the handicrafts being manufactured, in order to succeed in a competitive market. Skill upgradation programmes to train the artisans, to explore and diversify their creative potential were in the offing, the Assistant Director of the Handicrafts Marketing Centre, Mr G.R. Thampi, said.

The representatives from women's SHGs too voiced their concern over lack of financial support from the Government, that prevented them from participating in trade fairs, especially those held in the capital that could boost their sales and popularity.

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