New Delhi, Sept 30 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday distributed 200 electric potter wheels and other equipment to 200 families of the marginalised Kumhar community in Gujarat through video conference.
The 200 families belong to 20 villages of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, an official statement said.
Gandhinagar is Shah's Lok Sabha constituency.
'As many as 200 families of the marginalised Kumhar community from 20 villages in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad took a stride towards sustainable self-employment by associating with Kumhar Sashakrikaran Yojana of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC),' the statement said.
The home minister distributed 200 electric potter wheels (chaak) and other pottery equipment to 200 trained artisans at a function held at village Randheja of Gandhinagar through video conference from New Delhi, it said.
The distribution of electric potter wheels will benefit at least 1200 members of the community by increasing their productivity and their income, which is the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the statement said.
Shah lauded the various self-employment schemes of KVIC like Honey Mission, Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, Leather Artisans' Empowerment and Project DigniTEA.
Shah also interacted with the potters, who have been given 10-days training by KVIC in pottery making and provided with electric 'chaak' and other equipment.
The potters thanked the government saying this will enable them earn a better livelihood and become 'Aatmanirbhar'.
Shah said the electric 'chaak' will not only help potters to enhance their production but also enable them to make new fancy products that will fetch them good income during the Dussehra and Diwali festivals.
He urged every beneficiary to rope in at least 10 other families with Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana for the larger benefit of the community.
'Empowerment of the Kumhar community by improving their socio-economic condition has been the dream of our prime minister. KVIC's Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana is aimed at making potters 'Aatmanirbhar, by creating sustainable local employment for them while preserving the heritage art of pottery. It is important that young potters take up the art of pottery and expand it across the country,' Shah said.
The home minister said the government has created proper marketing channels including tie-up with the Indian Railway for selling their products.
'The Indian Railway has already designated 400 railway stations where only earthenware is being used to sell food and beverages. I will request the railway minister to identify more such railway stations so as to provide a bigger marketing platform to our potters,' he said, while also advising the potters to form cooperatives to sell their finished products at railway stations.
Several regions of Gujarat, particularly Kutch and Saurashtra, are well-known for the traditional pottery art. Since the launch of Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in 2018, the KVIC has trained nearly 800 potters in Gujarat.
The KVIC has also distributed them with electric potter wheels and other equipment like blunger machines for mixing of clay. This has eliminated drudgery from the process of pottery making and also resulted in increasing the production by 3-4 times, the statement said. PTI ACB AAR AAR