On the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the Vishwakarma Yojana, a scheme to empower traditional artisans and craftsmen in India. The scheme is set to be introduced on Vishwakarma Diwas (September 17), which is celebrated as the day of the divine architect and engineer in Hindu mythology.
The Vishwakarma Yojana is a scheme for strengthening and nurturing the Guru-Shishya parampara or family-based practice of traditional skills by artisans and craftspeople working with their hands and tools. The scheme aims to benefit individuals skilled in 18 traditional trades, such as carpentry, boat making, blacksmithing, locksmithing, pottery, goldsmithing, barbering, tailoring, masonry, and garland making, among others.
The scheme has a budget allocation of Rs 13,000 crore and will cover both urban and rural areas. It will provide various benefits to the beneficiaries, such as:
- Financial aid: The scheme will provide credit support up to Rs 1 lakh in the first tranche and Rs 2 lakh in the second tranche, with a concessional interest rate of 5%.
- Recognition and certification: The scheme will issue the PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card to the artisans and craftsmen, giving them a professional identity and recognition.
- Skill enhancement: The scheme will offer opportunities for skill enhancement through basic and advanced training programs. The participants will also receive a stipend of Rs 500 per day during their training period.
- Modern tools and equipment: The scheme will provide financial support of up to Rs 15,000 to the beneficiaries to procure modern tools and equipment, enhancing their efficiency and productivity.
- Quality improvement: The scheme will aim to improve the quality and global reach of the products and services crafted by the artisans and craftsmen. It will also integrate them within domestic and global value chains.
- Marketing support: The scheme will extend marketing support to the beneficiaries through various platforms, such as e-commerce portals, exhibitions, fairs, etc.
- Digital payments: The scheme will promote digital transactions among the beneficiaries through various modes, such as UPI, QR codes, etc.
- Social security: The scheme will provide social security benefits to the beneficiaries, such as health insurance, pension, etc.
The Vishwakarma Yojana is a visionary step towards preserving and promoting the rich heritage of traditional skills in India. It will also empower the artisans and craftsmen who are instrumental in driving the rural economy and creating employment opportunities. The scheme will also contribute to the nation’s journey towards a greener future by encouraging eco-friendly practices and technologies.