On Saturday, November 27, 2021, Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar inaugurated a pilot initiative in Jammu and Kashmir to restore and promote traditional ‘Namda’ craft, saying that efforts are on to expand carpet exports from 600 crore to 6,000 crore.
An official spokesman for the Union Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Electronics and Information Technology announced the launch of two ambitious projects: “Revival of Namda craft of Kashmir as a special pilot project under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0” and “Upskilling of artisans and weavers of Kashmir under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) component of PMKVY.”
The goal of these programmes, according to him, is to strengthen and maintain Kashmir’s traditional Namda craft, as well as to upskill local weavers and craftsmen in the UT so that they may increase their productivity via RPL evaluation and certification.
The Namda project would help 2,250 individuals from 30 Namda Clusters across six Kashmir districts, including Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Budgam, and Anantnag, he said, while the RPL programme aims to upskill 10,900 craftsmen and weavers.
A Namda is a rug made of sheep wool using a felting technique rather than the traditional weaving method. Between 1998 and 2008, the export of this craft fell by about 100 percent due to a shortage of raw materials, competent labour, and marketing tactics.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has devised a short-term training programme to conserve this endangered art via this unique initiative under PMKVY.
The Namda initiative will be an industry-based training programme with Namda Crafts Production beneficiaries who will help to preserve and revive the rich legacy linked with the distinctive art of Kashmir.
According to the spokesperson, this would also increase access for current Namda crafts cluster artists in Kashmir as well as their employment opportunities.
Mr. Chandrasekhar, who launched the programme, said India has a rich legacy and is home to various ancient art forms.
The Narendra Modi government has made it a point to restore and promote the traditional and historical skills of craftsmen and weavers in J&K, therefore benefiting the people economically and socially. Not only that, but we should endeavour to provide them with worldwide market exposure so that the rest of the world is aware of our colourful culture, “he said.
When the Minister visited Jammu and Kashmir, the people asked for help in boosting the local economy via customised skill training programmes, according to the Minister.
“This motivated the Ministry of Skill Growth and Entrepreneurship to design this programme in order to satisfy the local youth’s economic objectives and lead them to the road of development. “I am convinced that by enlisting the help of the local industry, we will be able to raise carpet exports from 600 crores to 6,000 crores and employ eight lakh people,” he added.
He said that the initiative would continue to skill, upskill, and reskill local youth in order to build a career ladder for them and make them strong pillars of Modi’s goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
“The government is working with a laser focus on the development of J&K and is keeping all of its commitments,” he added.
Following his recent visits to Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir, Chandrasekhar stressed the need to organise a project to preserve and revive the region’s fading traditional crafts, citing the handicraft industry as a vital source of employment.
In Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir, it was discovered that the historical and traditional skill clusters needed trained craftsmen from communities to supply the demand for traditional crafts. This strategy encourages micro-entrepreneurship by bridging the gap between industry and the market.
A similar pilot project will be started in Nagaland next month to train and upskill over 4,000 artists and weavers in order to create local jobs and develop craft clusters.Union Govt. launches pilot project to promote Namda craft in J&K.