Varanasi: Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today dedicated to the nation, the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts – at Varanasi. The Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone of this Centre in November 2014. Today, he visited the Centre, and was given an overview of the facilities developed there, before arriving on the dais for the dedication.
He described the Trade Facilitation Centre as one of the biggest projects for Varanasi for a long time. He said this Centre would help the artisans and weavers showcase their skills to the world, and facilitate a brighter future for them. He asked the people to encourage all tourists to visit this Centre. He said this would result in increased demand of handicrafts, and also boost the tourism potential of Varanasi, and indeed the economy of the city.
The Prime Minister said the solution to all problems is through development. He said the Government is focused on bringing about positive change in the lives of the poor and of succeeding generations. In this context, he praised the efforts of Utkarsh Bank.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that the Ministry of Textiles is fortunate that the Rs. 300 crore Deendayal Hastkala Sankul has been dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister, on the auspicious occasion of Nav Durga. The Minister recalled that the foundation stone of the Sankul was laid by the PM on 7th November, 2014 and that the first phase was inaugurated by the PM on 22nd December, 2016. She said that the dedication of the Sankul today is a demonstration of the leadership of the Prime Minister. She said that it will help increase the earnings of weavers and artisans, and help better showcase their products to the world.
The Textiles Minister said that Government wants every member of the families of weavers and artisans to be able to fulfil their dream of acquiring good education. She informed that towards this, the Ministry of Textiles has entered into MoUs with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), whereby children of weavers and artisans are able to avail school and university education, with 75% of fees being borne by the Government of India.
Speaking about the success of the MUDRA scheme, the Minister said that beneficiaries receive security-free loans ranging from 50,000 rupees to 10 lakh rupees under the scheme. She said that more than 33,000 weavers have benefited by MUDRA scheme, receiving loans worth more than 170 crore rupees. She added that weavers receiving MUDRA loans have been able to increase their income by more than 50% within just two months. The Minister said that the Government will reach out to artisans across the country, in order to provide them benefits of MUDRA loans and other facilities.