Handicrafts & Handlooms is a growing and vital sector of our economy both in terms of generating employment and earning foreign exchange for the country with negligible import content. This sector is decentralized and highly labour intensive. It is spread all over the country in rural and urban areas and substantially supports weaker sections of the society including women, SC/STs and minorities. Hence, Textile Ministry has assigned high priority to the development of handicrafts sector, targeting not only growth in employment but also a quantum jump in export earnings.
To provide marketing opportunities to artisans of the far-flung areas in the metro/large cities, the Govt. & NGOs are actively taking interest by organizing different types of marketing programmes. The craft persons are being provided stalls, infrastructure facilities and publicity etc. for these type of programmes. During the year 2002-03, 7796 artisans have been benefited through these events and sales to the extent of Rs.2557 lacs approximately have been generated.
For competitive Marketing of handicraft products, Corporations/NGOs & Coop. Societies engaged in the field of handicraft development are making all out efforts for the up-gradation of the handicraft/handloom sector. Dilli Haat/Urban Haats in important locations in the country have been established/sanctioned to provide a permanent marketing outlet for the art & craft products produced by the artisans directly. This opportunity is providing livelihood to a large number of artisans from all over the country who otherwise do not get adequate marketing outlets for sale of their products. Indian Handicrafts are famous all over the world for their workmanship, design, traditions & cultural heritage. Our Handicrafts are unique in their traditional colours and designs. Textile Ministry has already approved 24 Urban Haats in different parts of the country. These haats when become fully functional will help 36000 artisans/weavers annually. Out of these haats, 4 have become operational at places Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Bhubaneshwar (Orissa), Jammu (J&K) and Karnal (Haryana). These Food & Craft Bazaars will also provide leisure and recreational facilities to both domestic and international visitors.