Govt plans outreach as uncertainty weighs on artisans in absence of buyers for handicrafts

NEW DELHI: Stocks of handicrafts worth around 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 also said that they are working on a plan to provide interest free loans in collaboration with other ministries to help the artisans continue with their work till things settle down.
“To reach out to the most vulnerable artisans we are tying 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 with artisans.
When TOI reached out to union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda on the plans for outreach to artisans, he said that he will be seeking a report on the matter including the numbers and concerns to establish the extent of the problem to decide on the future course of action.
Meanwhile, to ensure relief to tribals engaged in collection of forest produce, the tribal affairs minister said that the decision on revision of minimum support price (MSP) for non – timber minor forest produce (MFP) was in the works and orders on the newRead More – Source


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