Finally, it’s good news for zardozi and chikan workers as the government has finally woken up to their problems and is mulling over an idea to provide social security to these artisans.
Data collection has already stated in six districts of Lucknow division including Unnao, Rae Bareli, Lakhimpur khiri, Sitapur and Barabanki where details of the artisans engaged in chikankari and zardozi are being collected.
Chief development officer (CDO) Aditi Singh said, “The idea is to provide some kind of security to these artisans. Since Lucknow is a hub of the two arts, we are thinking of working out a plan in their favour.”
The administration may also involve NGOs in the plan. From providing monetary security to the artisans, the scheme would also facilitate fair remuneration and direct market opportunities to the artisans.
Talking about the plight of the chikankari artisans and the profit margins denied to the skilled hands, social activist Runa Banerjee said, “Facilitating through schemes can't be of any help until marketing facility is provided to the artisan. The biggest game is in the marketing and this is where the artisans need to be facilitated.”
Elaborating about the profit margin through direct selling and elimination of middlemen who are the biggest cause of the artisans' penury, Runa said that there are no chances of loss in direct selling. The magnitude of profit may vary with the quality of work but the remuneration is sure to be satisfactory for the skillful hands.
The state government seems to be in favour of schemes for the state's weavers and artisans. Chief mister Akhilesh Yadav made a reference to the same on Sunday when the he addressed the gathering at the unemployment distribution event held at the Colvin Taluqdars' College campus.
In addition to the initiative at the district level, there are bigger plans in the state as well. A mega fashion and lifestyle park, promoting the two prominent handicrafts of the land is also on the anvil. A proposal in this regard was mooted by a self-help group foundation working for the promotion of chikankari and zardozi arts. According to sources, preliminary meetings and presentations have already been done and the group has been directed to submit the detailed project and identify the land for the proposed hub by the government.
The mega fashion park would be a sourcing hub, providing a platform to the artisans.