NEW DELHI: On the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of the architect of the Indian constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Union Textiles Minister Mrs. Smriti Zubin Irani distributed benefits under welfare schemes of the Ministry, to beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Castes from various parts of the country. In a special programme held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, the Minister also interacted through video-conferencing, with handloom weavers, handicraft artisans, silk reelers and skill development trainees at various locations in five states, apart from the beneficiaries who were present at the function in Delhi.
The Minister recalled the testimony of a weaver from Odisha who has been able to double his monthly income from Rs. 4,000/- to Rs. 8,000/-, with the help of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana. She also noted the story of a labourer’s son from Indore, who was able to get placed under ISDS and is now able to dream of a better future. Smt. Irani also spoke of a girl from Bareilly who demonstrated the benefits of the improved artisan tool-kit via video-conference to the Minister and others present today. Encouraging her to be an instructor as well, Smt. Irani directed the officials to utilize her skills in communicating the benefits of improved toolkits to other artisans. Stating that Dr. Ambedkar dreamed of an India where every Indian would be able to contribute to nation building, by one’s own honest efforts and education, the Minister appreciated everyone associated with the textiles sector, for their contribution in the economic empowerment of people such as these.
An MoU was signed on the occasion, between Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles and National Schedule Castes Finance and Development Corporation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that the MoU is a great example of collaboration within the Government.
Noting that the year is being observed as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’, the Minister said that the efforts by the Government, under the leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi, to join people using AADHAAR and MUDRA is leading to the direct transfer of benefits to the bank accounts of the poor.
The Minister noted that her Ministry is making special efforts for the welfare of about 20 lakh Scheduled Caste citizens working in handicraft, handloom and sericulture sectors. She said that the Government has decided to provide 100% subsidy to SC weavers for construction of work-shed. She also recalled the launch of PowerTex India for strengthening of power loom sector, stating that 75% subsidy is being given to SC beneficiaries, for upgradation of powerlooms. The Minister announced that the Government has decided to provide 75% subsidy in fees for school education via NIOS and university education via IGNOU, for families of SC weavers and artisans.
The Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment thanked the Union Textiles Minister for working at a fast pace for welfare of SC beneficiaries in the textiles sector. He said that the MoU signed today would advance the welfare of people belonging to Scheduled Castes, in line with the governance philosophy of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. The Minister also underscored that the Ministry of Textiles has a significant role to play in the fulfillment of this goal.