15 Dec :The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presented National Awards to Master Craftpersons and Master Weavers and Shilp Guru Awards here today. A total of 77 National Awards were distributed to Master Craftpersons and Master Weavers, out of which 13 were joint awards, 16 among the awardees were women.
7 Master Craftpersons were also conferred with the Shilp Guru Award, which is an award for extraordinary and life time contribution of the awardee artisans to the craft as well to the craft community.
Congratulating the awardees, the President of India lauded their excellent contribution made in their respective fields. She remarked that though the artisans and weavers work in their small village homes, often without any modern day facilities, still they produce remarkable products, which adore the luxury homes of people in cities and metros across the world. She exhorted the awardee artisans to continue with the creative pursuits of their respective craft activities so that this rich tradition of our great Nation is carried from one generation to the next, for years to come. The President observed that these two sectors need a proper handholding by the Government to meet the challenges that have emerged because of the recent global economic slow down.
On the occasion, the Minister of Textiles, Shri Shankarsinh Vaghela said that this welfare-cum-recognition measure was the annual feature of Ministry of Textiles and these awards, apart from encouraging the awardees, inspires the remaining craftspersons and weavers to strive further to excel in their respective crafts so that they also achieve this recognition and distinction at the National level.
Indicating the importance of the Handloom and Handicraft Sectors for the economy of the country, particularly in the context of its valuable contribution to foreign exchange earning, Shri Vaghela informed that the Government will do all it can to boost these two sectors by providing policy and budgetary support so that these two sectors equip themselves adequately to face the challenges ahead in the global markets.
On the occasion, Shri E.V.K.S. Elangovan Minister of State for Textiles noted that the memories of receiving awards from the august hands of the President will, forever remain etched in the minds of the Master Craftpersons, Master Weavers and Shilp Gurus and will inspire them to create more masters in the crafts in the days to come by becoming guide, teacher and mentor to the younger generation.
Each National Award consists of cash prize of Rs. 50,000/-, Tamrapatra, an Angvastram and a Merit Certificate. The National Award is a recognition of the unmatchable innovative skills of the Master craftpersons from the Handicrafts sector and of the Masterweavers from Handlooms sector, who contribute to preserve and promote our craft heritage and build up a linkage between the past and present.
The Shilp Gurus has received a certificate, a gold coin and a shawl at the time of Award.
The Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Shri A.K. Singh, Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Shri Sutanu Behuria, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) Shri Sanjay Agarwal and Development Commissioner (Handlooms) Shri B.K. Sinha were also present on the occasion.