Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development
Ministry of Minority Affairs launched ‘Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development’ (USTTAD) scheme on 14 May, 2015 to preserve the rich heritage of traditional arts/crafts of minorities.1 The scheme aims at capacity building and upgrading the traditional skills of master craftsmen/artisans, documentation of identified traditional arts/crafts of minorities, setting standards for traditional skills, training of minority youths in various identified traditional arts/crafts, and developing national and international market linkages.
Since then, the Ministry has engaged institutions of national repute namely, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), National Institute of Design (NID) to work in various craft clusters for design intervention, product range development, document identified crafts, set standards of identified crafts, and conduct exhibitions and brand building.
India is known for its diverse traditions and culture. The minority communities reflect the country’s traditional skills, arts & crafts but due to forces of competitive market and globalization and also due to deteriorating socio-economic conditions of master craftsmen/artisan, these skills are not being pursued by the young generation of these communities. With an aim to keep the traditional culture alive, the scheme was launched in alignment with the pledge of ‘Swadeshi se Swavalamban’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ thereby contributing to the objectives of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Scope of the Scheme
• The scheme aims at capacity building and updating the traditional skills of master craftsmen/artisans. These trained master craftsmen/artisans will train the minority youths in various specific traditional arts/crafts.
• The Ministry of Minority Affairs will take up this skill development program for all important traditional arts/crafts being practiced by minority communities, for their development and market linkages and recognition of talented master Craftsmen/Artisans.
Components of the Scheme
The USTTAD Scheme is a 100% Central sector scheme with the following planned programmes:
• Upgradation of skills and training in traditional arts/crafts through institutions
• Usttad apprenticeship stipend for research and development
• Support to craft museum for curation traditional arts and craft
• Support to minority craftsmen/artisans through Hunar Haat and Shilp Utsav for marketing their products through exhibitions throughout the country and abroad
• Recognition of talented Master Craftsmen and artisans
Implementation of the Scheme
• The scheme is implemented throughout and can be taken up anywhere in the country.
• Minimum 33% seats are earmarked for minority girls/women. However, the project management agencies (PIAs) covering more girls are given preference.
• The scheme is implemented for the preservation and promotion of traditional arts/crafts being practiced by minority communities notified under the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 (viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains) and its promotion with market linkages.
• The projects with National/ State Awardee Master Craftsmen/ Artisans, and National Merit Certificate Holders are given preference.
• There is a provision of training to youth to enhance their skills levels (training in traditional art/craft, entrepreneurial training, soft skills, IT Training) that would enable the youths to learn traditional skills and the SHG to develop a market-oriented production model.
During the financial year 2021-22, out of the earmarked budget of Rs. 47 crore, Rs. 44.34 crore had been utilized as on 15 March 2022 under the scheme, the Government says.
Hunar Haat is implemented as a component of the USTTAD scheme to provide an effective platform for the artisans/craftsmen of India to showcase their expertise and explore opportunities of employment. Over a period of time, Hunar Haat has proved to be a credible brand of Indigenous Talent of Indian artisans and craftsmen. Hunar Haat has ensured “Development with Dignity” of artisans and craftsmen of the country.
As on 07.02.2022, 35 editions of Hunar Haats have been organized at Delhi, Puducherry, Mumbai, Prayagraj, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Indore, Ranchi, Lucknow, Rampur, Mysuru, Bhopal, Surat, Vrindavan, Dehradun, Goa. As a result of this, more than five lakh artisans and people associated with them, have been provided employment and employment opportunities, out of which more than 50% beneficiaries are women.
Achievements under the USTTAD Scheme
• Approx. 49 crafts clusters covering various traditional arts & crafts have been identified so far by the knowledge partner under the USTTAD scheme.
• The training component of the scheme was started in the year 2016-17 with the number of beneficiaries for the year 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 being 16,200, 3465, and 3465 respectively. The training during the last two years could not be conducted due to the Covid pandemic.
• Turning the crisis of COVID-19 into an opportunity, the Ministry of Minority Affairs brought “Hunar Haat”, a credible brand to provide market and opportunities to artisans and craftsmen, on the online platform in the year 2020. Products of all artisans are available on https://hunarhaat.org/. The online platform was launched during “Hunar Haat, organized at Pitampura, Delhi from 1 to 20 November 2020.
• The Central Government has sanctioned 100 Hunar Hubs in different parts of the country. Training is being provided to master artisans, craftsmen and traditional culinary experts according to modern needs in these Hunar Hubs and they are also being provided national-international markets. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) scheme of Ministry of Minority Affairs, a total of 12 units of Hunar Hubs have been approved at a total cost of Rs. 3264.35 Lakhs as on 31.01.2022.