SRINAGAR: In a significant and major development, Government of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday enhanced the rate of stipend for trainees undergoing Elementary and Advanced level training courses in various training centres of Handicrafts and Handloom departments. The monthly stipend in Handicrafts sector has been enhanced from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- for Elementary course and from Rs. 700/- to Rs. 1500/- for Advanced Training Course. Similarly, in respect of Handloom Training Courses, the rate of monthly stipend has been increased from Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/- for Ready-Made Garments (RMG) and Weaving Training Courses.
The enhancement in stipend was long overdue after it was found that the meagre stipends in this sector was failing to attract artisans to pursue craft activity as their profession. The enhancement will not only encourage target groups to this vocation but will also encourage the school drop outs to join the training centres in order to learn skills for securing their future.
The move by the Government is seen to infuse a fresh lease of enthusiasm and motivation among the trainees. Close to 13000 artisans and weavers of Jammu and Kashmir in different crafts of Handicrafts and Handloom sector shall be benefited by this enhancement. It will further increase competition among the youth to seek skill training in training centers of the department and will encourage the traditional artisans and weavers to seek full-time capacity building training, thereby helping them to become self-reliant.
In the long run, the training imparted would help artisans and weavers to produce more diversified products and become familiar with new ideas, motifs and designs after getting acquainted with new trends in their trades. The decision of the Government to approve revision of stipend rates has been widely appreciated by the trainees and fulfills their long-pending demand. This revision in the stipend has taken place after a long gap of 8 years.
Hailing the decision of the Government, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government Industries and Commerce Department said that the endeavour of this government has all along been to improve the financial and socio-economic conditions of the artisans and weavers associated with various crafts and would enable unemployed youth to start their own ventures and become job providers rather than job seekers.
Currently, there are 369 & 179 Elementary and Advanced Training Centres in the Handicrafts sector and 99 Ready-Made Garments, Weaving and Kani centres in the Handloom sector of Jammu and Kashmir providing training to unemployed youth in different trades/crafts. The enhancement in the stipend comes days after the Government conferred the Padma and State Awards to Ghulam Rasool Khan and Sajad Hussain Dar in recognition of their role played in the promotion of Kashmir Handicrafts.
The enhancement in the stipend has been welcomed and termed as historic by the Apex trade bodies like KCCI, FCIK and PHD Chamber of Commerce. Appreciating the LG Administration, various associations concerned with the Kashmir Craft including TAHAFUZ have expressed their gratitude for taking this momentous decision to improve a lot of artisans.
The enhancement in the stipend has been also welcomed by various Associations of Handicrafts and Handloom of Jammu Division, especially by Jan Shakti Handicrafts Union Jammu & Jammu Province Handloom Cooperative Societies Federation, who have expressed their gratitude towards the momentous decision taken.
This revision in the stipend has taken place after a long gap of 8 years.