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Shilp Guru & National Awards Conferred to Master Craftspersons to Recognize Their Excellent Craftsmanship

30 Shilp Guru Awards and 78 National Awards were presented yesterday (28th November) to master craftspeople, 36 of whom are women, for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019. The main goal of the awards is to recognise individuals for their outstanding craftsmanship and significant contributions to the Indian Handicrafts and Textiles sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
"Our artisans are India's ambassadors of heritage to the world,” said Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India
"Our artisans are India's ambassadors of heritage to the world,” said Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India

The Awards were established in 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of India's resurgence of handicrafts. The prize package includes a gold coin, Rs.2.00 lakhs in prize money, a Tamrapatra, a shawl, and a certificate. For 2017, 2018, and 2019, 30 Shilp Gurus were chosen, with 24 men and six women.

Since 1965, the National Awards have been given for outstanding craftsmanship in various categories. Metal engraving, Chikan hand embroidery, Khurja Blue Pottery, Mata Ni Pachedi Kalamkari, Bandhani, Tie & Dye, Hand Block Bagh Print, Warli Art, Stone Dust Painting, Sozni Hand Embroidery, Terracotta, Tanjore Painting, Sholapith, Kantha Hand Embroidery, Palm leaf Engraving, Brass wire inlay on wood, Wood Tarkashi, Madhubani Painting, Gold Leaf Painting, straw The prize money is Rs.1.00 lakh, along with a Tamrapatra, a Shawl, and a certificate. 78 artisans were chosen for the National Awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019, including two design innovation awards in which a designer and an artisan collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind product.

“Our artisans are India's ambassadors of heritage to the world,” said Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India, today at the Shilp Guru and National Awards ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Textiles. According to Dhankhar, “India is on the rise like never before. We are the most popular investment and opportunity destination in the world. And artisans in the handicrafts and handloom sectors have contributed to this growth," he said. Speaking of the artisans' craftsmanship and skills, the Hon'ble VP stated that such refined skills make India proud.

He mentioned the pandemic period when India outperformed the rest of the world by providing 3 billion vaccines to our people, which was aided by digital mapping of the vaccination programme. He said that no other country could even consider such an initiative. He also stated that rations had been distributed to over 80 million beneficiaries since the first lockdown. While delivering the address, Union Minister of Textiles, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, stated that handicraft handloom is a cornerstone for a self-reliant, confident India engaging with the rest of the world.

He stated that over the centuries, our shilpkars have developed their own - often unique - methods and techniques for bringing life into stone, metal, sandalwood, and clay. They had long ago perfected scientific and engineering processes far ahead of their time. Their creations demonstrated their sophisticated knowledge and refined aesthetic sense. Handicraft item production provides livelihood opportunities to lakhs of people living in rural areas at a low capital investment, has an excellent domestic and international market, and is part of Indian heritage, culture, and tradition.

He stated that the production of handicraft items is significant in the economic empowerment of rural women because it can be done in the home alongside other household chores. Women comprise a sizable proportion of the labour force, accounting for more than half of the artisans' sector.

Goyal stated that the promotion of handicrafts not only ensures a balance between a nation's traditional values and contemporary outlook, but also provides a home for the country's skilled hands. He also quoted the Prime Minister saying, "Handlooms and handicrafts manifest India's diversity and the dexterity of countless weavers and artisans.” According to the Union Minister, India's handicraft/handloom exports are increasing. Furthermore, our products are more environmentally friendly than others.

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