The President of India,
Shri Pranab Mukherjee today conferred 20 Shilp Guru Awards, 18 Sant
Kabir Awards along with 74 National Awards to master craftspersons and
master weavers at a function in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, President Shri Pranab Mukherjee congratulated
all the awardees for their “contribution in preserving, promoting and
enriching the traditional and cultural heritage of our country.” The
President was also confident that the recognition to the awardees will
“inspire and encourage others to work hard and emulate your efforts to
bring prosperity to artisans and weavers across the country.”
Shri Mukherjee said that the government should provide enabling policy
support which can lead to sustainable growth of the handloom and
handicraft sectors. “There is a need to be aware of the emerging
challenges and also the opportunities presented by the changing global
environment…we have to adapt to the changes that are taking place not
only within the country but also globally,” said Shri Mukherjee. He
further added that “modernisation in the weaving technique, improvement
of designs and pattern, access to modern tools, technology and
implements, upgradation of skills to ensure quality, supply of good
quality basic inputs like yarn, dyes, and chemicals in time and to
create a sound marketing infrastructure would not only give the required
impetus but also make the products of the weavers and craftsperons more
Shri Sharma also congratulated the awaredees, weavers and artisans for
their outstanding contribution in preserving and enriching the unique
and artistic cultural traditions of different parts of the country.
Speaking during the occasion, Shri Sharma recognised the fact that
supporting the rural artisans is not only integral to the duties of a
welfare state, but is essential for preserving those traditions which
for centuries have embodied the nationhood. “We have supported the
establishment of Urban Haats across the country and also provided
support for organising Shilp Bazaars, Craft Bazaars and exhibitions to
provide a platform for the Indian craftsmen.
Shri Sharma said that there is a need to upgrade the quality of the hand
made produce to enable the makers to reach out to the global market
place. “There is a he challenge of meeting the skill deficit in the
handicraft sector, and though we provide support for training, skill
upgradation and design, much more needs to be done,” added Shri Sharma.
Shilp Guru awards are conferred to legendary master craftspersons of
Handicrafts whose work and dedication have contributed not only to the
preservation of rich and diverse craft heritage of the country, but also
to the resurgence of handicrafts sector as a whole. Each Award consists
of one mounted gold coin, one shawl, Certificate and a Tamrapatra. In
addition, financial assistance to the extent of Rs. 6 lakh is also given
to each selected Awardee to innovate and create five new products of
high level of excellence, high aesthetic value and high quality
befitting the stature of the Guru.
Sant Kabir Award is conferred on such outstanding weaver who has made
valuable contribution in keeping alive the handloom heritage and also
for his dedication in building up the linkages between the past, present
and future through dissemination of knowledge on traditional skills and
designs. Each Sant Kabir Award consists of one mounted gold coin, one
shawl, certificate and a Tamrapatra. In addition, financial assistance
to the extent of Rs. 6 lakh is also given to each selected awardee to
innovate and create ten new products of high level of excellence, high
aesthetic value and high quality.
National Awards to Master Craftspersons and master weavers were
introduced in 1965 and the award comprises of a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh,
a certificate, Tamrapatra and an Angavastram.