As handicraft stocks pile up, artisans bank on government to resolve crisis

NEW DELHI: Stocks of handicrafts worth over Rs 75 crore produced by artisans are estimated to be lying wasted since the lockdown started and at least 3 lakh tribal artisans are staring at uncertainty with the buyers gone due to the ongoing lockdown.
Based on the database of artisans registered with it and recognising the challenges faced by them, tribal cooperative marketing federation of India (TRIFED) is now preparing to submit a proposal to the Union ministry of tribal affairs seeking additional financial support to buy their products and put the cash in the banks of the affected artisans.
TRIFED managing director Pravir Krishna shared that a webinar with 500 artisans from across India reflected that many artisans have not been able to sell their products for more than a month now and stocks are lying waste.
"To reach out to the most vulnerable artisans we have tied up with the Art of Living Foundation to reach out with weekly rations. The regional managers have been asked to facilitate the process across states," Krishna said. TRIFED is also preparing to approach large corporates and online platforms to explore marketing opportunities for the handicrafts that are lying in stock. Meanwhile, TRIFEF has directed its regional managers to clear all past payments of artisans associated with the Tribes India outlets, buy their products and keep them in stock and also place fresh orders for next three months.
To help artisans continue with their work, TRIFED is now working on a plan to see if it is possible to provide interest free loans or loans with very low interest rate in collaboration with other ministries. Krishna is planing to write to ministry of Small and Medium Enterpirses and commissioner, handlooms and handicrafts of the ministry of textiles to explore collaborations to assist artisans through this tough phase.
When TOI reached out to Union tribal affairs minister Read More – Source


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