Skill, Labour, and Talent for MSMEs: The Modi government’s craft fair Hunar Haat, which enables micro-entrepreneurs involving artisans and craftsmen to showcase and sell their products, has provided ‘employment and employment opportunities’ to over 5.5 lakh artisans, craftsmen, and people associated with them in the past around seven years, said Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday. “Target has been set to provide employment and employment opportunities to lakhs of more artisans, craftsmen through 75 Hunar Haats under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,” the minister said while sharing the programme details for the 29th fair in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh from October 16 to 25.
Hunar Haat initiative was set up by the Minority Affairs Ministry as a component of the Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme that was launched on May 15, 2015, to focus on preserving the heritage of traditional arts of minorities. Apart from the Vocal for Local theme, the upcoming fair would also showcase the theme of Best from Waste. Products made from used and discarded items in households such as plastic, paper, ply, wood, glass, ceramic, jute, cotton, wool, sugarcane pulp, paddy and wheat straw-stems, husk, and more will be available at the haat, the minister said.
In May 2020, Naqvi had informed that the minority affairs ministry has started the process to register artisans and their indigenous products on the public procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM). “The step to take the “Hunar Haat” on online/digital platform and the GeM has received a tremendous response as the artisans and craftsmen are receiving large scale online orders for their products,” Naqvi said in February this year in a statement by the ministry.
In September this year, the textiles ministry had informed that the initiative to boost seller registration and onboarding of weavers and artisans launched by GeM in July last year saw 28,374 new artisans and 1,49,422 weavers onboarding the portal till August 30, 2021.
Artisans and weavers have been also been a significant part of the seller base of e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart to provide more exposure and market to traditional handcrafted products. For instance, Flipkart had curated a special line of products for artisans part of its Samarth programme for the Big Billion Days sale. Flipkart last month said that the programme had grown 7x in sales since last year and now impacts 9,50,000 livelihoods by providing them with greater market opportunities and hand-holding.