To be finalised after approval by screening committee of textile ministry

A plan to float zari and embroidery handicraft cluster in Kulithalai is under the consideration of Union Ministry of Textiles. Steps have been initiated for floating the cluster under the ‘Babasaheb Ambedkar Hastashilp Vikas Yojana’ being implemented by the Union Ministry of Textiles, said M.Prabakaran, Deputy Director of Handicrafts, Marketing and Service Extension Centre, Salem.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Mr.Prabakaran said that the scheme aimed at promoting handicrafts industry across the country by extending a helping hand to skilled artisans . A preliminary proposal has been taken up for developing zari and embroidery works in Kulithalai. It would be finalised in course of time after approval by the screening committee, he said. He also said that a similar proposal is under consideration for developing a cluster in Coimbatore.

Explaining the achievements of the service extension centre, he said that the centre, with its jurisdiction over 12 districts, including Pudukottai, Tiruchi, Perambalur, Salem, Coimbatore, and Dindigul, had sanctioned microloans to the tune of Rs.4 crore to 1,500 artisans during the last financial year. Plans were afoot to extend similar loans this year too. He said that largest beneficiaries were the members of the self-help groups in the Salem unit. “The centre implemented the scheme in coordination with the State government and non-governmental organisations in rural areas. Women members of self-help groups are the largest beneficiaries of the scheme,” he said.

The Union Ministry of Textiles has constructed an exclusive design technical and development centre in Bangalore which would be inaugurated shortly. Training would be imparted to those interested in learning handicrafts. At least 2,000 persons could be accommodated during a particular training session.

Apart from imparting training to artisans, the centre also facilitates marketing of handicrafts. In its latest effort, the centre had provided a marketing platform for pasimani being produced by the narikuravas of Palani, Salem, and Tiruchi districts. “The pasimanis will be sold in northern parts of the country,” he said.