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?Govt must do more for craftsmen?

HARD WORK, integrity and lifetime commitment are a must, both for craftspeople and volunteers for the progress of handicrafts sector in the country, strongly feels president of the Dastakari Haat Samiti, Jaya Jaitly.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 13:48 IST

HARD WORK, integrity and lifetime commitment are a must, both for craftspeople and volunteers for the progress of handicrafts sector in the country, strongly feels president of the Dastakari Haat Samiti, Jaya Jaitly.

Simultaneously, she opines that the government too should be sensitive enough to reach to the poorest of the craftsmen in the country. “It’s important for the government to improve upon the existing infrastructure, so that right people could get the benefit of government schemes,” she told to the Hindustan Times.

Having dedicated four decades of her life towards improving the socio-economic status of crafts people and the quality of handicraft products, Jaitly said in the age of privatisation and economic liberalisation, the Central Government should strive to bring out the sector out of the clutches of bureaucratisation and red-tapism.

Citing a recent decision the Central Government is said to have taken, she said the government should free its holding on artisans and the organisations working in the handicraft sector.

“I’ve been told that the Central Government has said that entire Dilli Haat won’t be given to private organisations like us for conducting fairs and they would only select the artisans for the show. If the decision isn’t revoked, I would protest against it,” she said.

Surprisingly, the Dastakari Haat Samiti – a 20-year-old organisation has failed to get grant from the Central Government. “Whatever we’re doing it’s through our own funding and at the last moment, despite assurances, we’re told by the government that grant has not been sanctioned to us for this fair in Bhopal,” complained Jaitly.

Instrumental in setting up of the Dilli Haat, Jaitley, a former Samata Party president, feels that with the setting up of similar Haats across the country has provided artisans a marketing platform of their products. “I pushed the concept in Dilli Haat and today there are 60,000-odd craftsmen benefited by it,” she mentions. However, she is pained over the existing discrepancy in the system, whereby several bogus non-governmental organisations are having the pie.

“By bribing and using political clout, several bogus organisations, which aren’t directly attached to grass-roots craftspeople, are availing grants and other benefits from the government. Resultantly, right people and organisations suffer,” she complains.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 13:48 IST