The PM Vishwakarma scheme will cover 18 traditional crafts in urban and rural areas across the all country, the Government said on Friday. The scheme will be launched on Sunday, September 17, which is also celebrated as Vishwakarma Jayanti.

According to Indian mythology, Vishvakarma is the divine carpenter and master craftsman who fashioned the weapons of the Gods and built their cities and chariots. 

A government statement said: ”It has been the sustained focus of the Prime Minister to support people engaged in traditional crafts. This focus is driven by the desire to not only support artisans and craftspeople financially, but also to keep our age-old traditions, culture and diverse heritage alive and flourishing through local products, art and crafts.”

The scheme will cover traditional crafts of carpenters; boat makers; armourers; blacksmiths; hammer and tool kit makers; locksmiths; goldsmiths; potters; sculptors, stone breakers; cobblers (Shoesmith/ Footwear artisan); masons (Rajmistri); Basket/Mat/Broom Makers/Coir Weavers; Doll & Toy Makers (Traditional); barbers; garland makers; washermen; tailors; and fishing net makers.

Under the Rs 13,000-crore Central Sector Scheme (fully funded by the Centre), Vishwakarmas will be registered free of charge through Common Services Centres. They will be given the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training, toolkit incentive of ₹15,000, collateral-free credit support up to ₹1 lakh (first tranche) and ₹2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5 per cent, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support.

The scheme aims to strengthen and nurture the Guru-Shishya parampara or family-based practice of traditional skills by Vishwakarmas, working with their hands and tools. The prime focus of PM Vishwakarma is on improving the quality as well as the reach of products and services of artisans and craftspeople, to integrate them with domestic and global value chains, the statement added.