A government agency, a leading public sector bank and a trade body came together to give a fillip to a local cottage industry product in Jharkhand’s Santhal Pargana.
The Santhal Pargana Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SPCCI), in association with the State Bank of India (SBI) and the local handicraft centre run by the handicraft directorate of the Union textile ministry, on Thursday held a workshop for artisans of Deoghar who make lahthi churi (lac bangles) and assured them to help in getting the required finance, adding value to their product and also marketing it.
“The lac bangles made by artisans of Deoghar district have a good demand in the market but the trade did not flourish to its full potential as was expected,”SPCCI president Alok Kumar Mallick said, explaining the reason for their initiative.
SPCCI would act as a liaison between the artisans and the authorities for the purpose and also help them market their productsin a better way, headded.
“Besides raw materials and finance, the artisans also need to improve their skill and use more attractive designs for value addition to their product that can help enhance their income,” informed Bhavan Bhaskar, assistant director of the local handicraft centre.
There are certain clusters of villages aroundJasidih and Madhupur, besides district headquarters Deoghar, where artisans make these bangles, he further informed, adding the Durgapur village, adjacent to Deoghar town, where the workshop was held, alone had about 200 such artisans from 80 households.
At the workshop, Bhaskar briefed the artisans about the facilities of training that the Union government provides for the purpose and assured them they would initially organise such a training programme for 30 artisans if they are willing to attend it.
The Union government wants to promote and develop such traditional cottage industry products, Bhaskar replied when asked why he was in favour of training those artisans in creative design.
“They can also make jewellery from lac which is now fashionable and in much demand,” he further said.
He also assured the artisans to promote their products by facilitating their participation in various exhibitions and fairs where they can sell their products more.
The artisans who attended the workshop were also assured of the required finance by the SBI.
“I assured the artisans at the workshop that finance won’t be a problem if they take a loan and also pay back in instalments on time,” Ravi Shankar Chaudhary, SBI regional manager at Deoghar, said when contacted.
Among the participating artisans, 21 applied for loans at the workshop which were being processed for sanctioning up to Rs 5 lakh according totheir requirements, he added.
There are many schemes that can help such artisans get loans at a low-interest rate and also with attractive subsidies, Chaudhary further informed.
“Durgapur village comes within the limits of Deoghar municipal corporation and we can take up the matter with the corporation for allotting them aspace if the artisans are willing to have an exhibition-cum-sale counter where they can meet more prospective buyers easily,” SPCCI president Mallick said, adding they were hopeful their joint efforts would help the traditional artisans boost their business.