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Handicraft sector is second largest unorganised and employment generation sector after agriculture in India. It was a good sources of
foreign exchange in ancient time or old days. This research paper try to examine the awareness level of handicraft schemes among the
artisan. Most of the schemes are running under the supervision of the ministry of textile but still the artisans facing financial, lack of
technical knowledge, awareness regarding government schemes, lack of market knowledge etc. The researcher reviewed different
journals, reports. Internet etc. to get the information regarding crafts but one or two paper based on the awareness of schemes among
artisans. The researcher paper is exploratory cum descriptive in nature and snowball sampling technique were used to collect the data
and cross tab method to analyse the data.
The major finding of the research paper is that most of artisans have no information about the different schemes of handicrafts. This is the biggest hurdle to the growth and development of the sector. So, Government might be take some fruitful steps to overcome these problems and they can use personal and non-personal methods to increase the awareness of schemes in urban and rural area. Government should run a special campaign to increase the awareness in rural area because more than 80% artisans are living in these area.
Handicrafts constitute an important segment of the
unorganized sector of our economy. As we know that
most of the Indian population are living in rural area and
in the same way most of the handicraft artisans are living
and doing their work in rural area. Most of the workers,
working as a part time but for the time being the
importance of the handicraft sector increasing.
Handicrafts have a big potential to leads employment
opportunities for the skilled and unskilled workers. In
order to overcome these constraints, BAHVY scheme has
been running under the supervision of ministry of textile
to provide them all types of amenities which is helpful to
increase the production of handicraft products.
According to the “The Office of the development commissioner of Handicraft” the handicrafts are products produced with a manual labour with minimal or no input from machines, a substantial level of skill or expertise, a significant element of tradition and its history of survival. In the same way M. L. Meena et.al (2012),defined handicraft is a simply as objects made by the skills of the hand and which carry a part of the creator as well as centuries of evolutionary tradition.
The handicraft sector has, however, suffered due to its being unorganized, with the additional hurdles such as lack of education, poor exposure to new technologies, low capital, poor infrastructure and absence of market intelligence etc. To overcome these hurdles, ministry of textile started so many scheme to the handicraft but these schemes are not accessible to the actual needy artisans. According to the annual report 2017-18, the total number of 68.86 lakhs of artisans were involved in which 30.25 lakhs are male and 38.61 lakhs are female artisans. This is an important sector to promote women empowerment and make them financially strong. Ministry of Textiles, announced many awards like Shilp Guru, National award for outstanding contributors who alive our old tradition and different national merit certificate awards to promote and motivate the artisans.
Mirzapur district is a part of Uttar Pradesh, its geographical area is 4,521 sq. km with population of 4, 96,970 and one of the important contributor of handicraft products. Mirzapur district is playing a significant role in production and export of different crafts and an important source to earn money for poor artisans.
The following literature was reviewed related to the topic
of research during the research period :
According to the, Rahul and Sanjay (2015), the awareness of Government schemes and policies among handicraft artisans in Indian handicraft sector. The researchers conducted their work through structure questionnaire in Madhya Pradesh and found that only one third populations is aware all types of Government schemes for handicrafts. Handicraft sector scattered in throughout state in small units, and it helps in foreign exchanges,employment generation. In the same way, Jain, R. and Sharma, S. (2015) continued the work on artisan's perception towards Government promoting strategy in Indian handicrafts sector. They further concluded that some of the artisans were benefited through handicraft bazaar/melas but they were still far away from actual marketing support and policies. The researchers were used structured questionnaire for artisans, retailers, handicraft bodies and export agencies to know existing problems of the crafts.Kumar, D. and Rajeev, P.V. (2014), concluded that the marketing of handicraft products was a great challenges for the sector at the present time. Customers had less information regarding crafts items which created a hurdled to the manufacturers or producers as well as retailers of the crafts sector.
Then further two researchers Fabeil, F. and Rahim, I. A. (2016) were continued their study on workshop- based format of crafts production and they found that those artisans who involved as a full- time workers, they were the highest performer as compared to part time workers. Dash, P. K (2015)examined the handicrafts sector of Orissa and he concluded that the low wages earner of crafts were started to changetheir works, which adversely affects the number of small manufacturing units and its production of crafts. Datta, H. (2016) suggested that the social, educational and economic background of the artisans were very poor because most the profit were earned by the middlemen of the handicraft. So, the manufacturers or producers of artisans should also involve in new market exploration and developed bargaining skill to get better price of the products. They should also take the help of different distribution channel of Self Help Group such as direct distribution channels, door to door selling, village market/haats, SHGs melas(Fair) at block and district level and regional SHG melas called 'SARAS' etc.
Datta, D. B. and Bhattacharyya, S. (2016) examined that Indian handicraft is known for their perfection, excellent design and varieties and a matchless sagacity of colour. The study described the most prominent issues such as lack of education, unorganized nature, poor exposure of new technology, low capital, poor infrastructure and no use of market intelligence etc. have been hampered development of craft sector.
Nagori, N. and Saxena, K. (2012) highlighted the importance of rural sector which potential to provide an unexplored markets for the handicraft sector.Kumar, D. and Rajeev, P.V. (2013), suggested that handicraft sector should think and work according to the customer's accessibility because at present time internet provided a great platform where the producers and retailers provide all necessary information about the craft items.
Vats, S. (2015), found that handicraft manufacturing units faced several challenges including inefficient layout of resources, high production cost, low productivity of scarce manufacturing resources, uncertainty in supply of raw materials, fluctuation of raw materials prices, uncertainty in supply of raw materials, high transaction cost in procurement of raw materials, exchanges rate fluctuation, poor logistics infrastructure etc. Manjusmita Dash, (2011) stated that the handicraft occupiedan inimitable place in India but in spite of this it could not receive as much consideration as it deserve because the performance of institutions have not up to the mark due to the lack of basic infrastructure facilities.
Singfat Chu (2006)described that therole of research and development, promotional activities and advertisement has been playing an importance role regarding creation of awarenessamong the customers further created a valuable brand in the mind of the customers. The creation of the brands value is not a simple task for the enterprises but it needs continuous effortsfor the enterprises at different parameters likes expenditure on Research and Development, time management, delivery system, quality etc.
To examine the awareness of government initiative schemes among the artisans of handicraft. The present research paper is based on both descriptive as well as exploratory in nature and the population of the study was all the artisans of the Mirzapur district and sample size was 106 artisans. Snowball sampling technique were used for data collection and both primary and secondary data were used for the study. Descriptive and cross tab methods were used for the analysis of the data.
The descriptive statistics depicted that (84.91%) respondents were male and 15.09% were female and most of the respondents were 31-40 years of age group. Majority of the artisans monthly earnings were below 5000 rupees.
The table no.1, exhibited that the, 69.80% of craftsmen were unaware about the different marketing schemes such as exhibition, Gandhi shilp mela, urban hats and seminar or workshops and 30.20% were aware about the different programs. In which 56.25% were participated in exhibition, 12.50% Gandhi shilp mela, 6.25% were participated in urban hats and no one participated in different seminar or workshops organised by government to update the artisans regarding recent development in handicraft sector.
The table no.2, shown that the, 88.70% population of the artisans had no information regarding Human resource development (HRD) scheme and only 11.30% craftsmen had knowledge about the HRD scheme. Among the aware artisans 33.33% had knowledge about handicraft training program, 16.67% were aware about the training through trainers and training through established institutions program etc. The above data depicted the ground veracity of the different schemes are alarming us to rethink or reorganized the different schemes according to the welfare of the artisans.
The table no.3, depicted that the, 87.70% craftsmen were unaware and 12.30% were aware about different infrastructure and technological development schemes. It also depicted the same trends of awareness, which also frightening us regarding ground legitimacy of the handicraft sector. In which, 30.77% of the artisans had knowledge about the design and craft school and 69.23% artisans had familiars about the urban hats.
The table no. 4, revealed that the, 94.30% of the artisans were unaware and 5.70% were aware about the different comprehensive welfare schemes, in which 33.33% were aware about the credit guarantee and interest subvention schemes.
The table no. 5, depicted that the, awareness of AHVY (Baba Saheb Ambedker Hastshilp Vikas Yojana) scheme was only 16.20% in which, 50% artisans were aware and used financial scheme and same percent had no information. The major finding was 83.80% of craftsmen had no knowledge about AHVY scheme. There are many program has been working under the AHVY (Baba Saheb Ambedker Hastshilp Vikas Yojana) scheme and the main objective of this scheme is to strengthen the social, technological, marketing and financial intervention for the sustainable development of handicraft sector.
The most important concluding remarked of the study is,
the marketing intervention scheme of the government is
focusingto organised exhibitions, to conduct study on
market assessment and products assessment, to increase
awareness through print and electronic mode etc. but the
analysis depicted that the a very few percent of artisans
were aware about different program under marketing
intervention. Government should focused to the rural area
of the country because most of the handicraftsmen were
living and working in the villages. Therefore, government
should use radio, print media and television media to
inform or to increase the awareness among the artisans
about different schemes in local languages. The
government should also use personnel and non-personnel
medium of communication in different districts of the
country after specific interval of time.
Human resource development (HRD) schemes has been working as a backbone for any organization because it provides different types of training and development programs which is necessary for the progress of workers and the organizations. So, we have to inform and motivate craftsmen about the schemes and try to provide some wages during the training. Government should also provide some financial assistance to the artisans to start their business in handicraft sector. Market for crafts items is most prominent issues for the craftsmen after producing the products and they need some urgent assistance to sale their products. So, the ministry of textile should organised a marketing campaign in the different clusters and try to know the existing problems.
Along with these issues, most of the artisans even had no knowledge about the design related assistance, loan for raw material and machineriesrelated support, which is a prime target of the government. We should promote our indigenouswork to alive, so we need to give preference during shopping and also to encourage our relatives and friends to buy the crafts.