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Huge relief for Kashmir Khadi artisans during Covid-19

Huge relief for Kashmir Khadi artisans during Covid-19

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) lent a special focus on Khadi artisans in Jammu and Kashmir during the Covid-19 period, disbursing Rs 29.65 crore to Khadi institutions in the hilly terrains of J&K alone, which has been the focus area of the Central Government. While KVIC worked tirelessly for creating sustainable employment across the country, this amount to 84 Khadi institutions in J&K has been disbursed from May 2020 to September 2020. It in turn benefitted 10,800 Khadi artisans associated with these institutions.

The financial assistance has been given under Modified Marketing Development Assistance (MMDA) scheme of KVIC which is directly linked with the production activities. Under this scheme, money is directly transferred into the bank accounts of artisans through DBT. During the Covid-19 lockdown period, a special drive was also launched by KVIC to settle 951 old MMDA claims of J&K Khadi institutions that were related to 2016-17 to 2018-19, pending due to various technical reasons.

The initiative has also strengthened Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's dream of making every weaker section aatmanirbhar (self reliant). "Apart from ensuring financial assistance through MMDA Scheme to Khadi Institutions and artisans, KVIC also roped in thousands of women artisans working in self-help groups in Jammu, Udhampur, Pulwama, Kupwara and Anantnag in stitching of Khadi face masks.

Almost 7 lakh Khadi face masks were stitched by these women artisans and supplied to the J&K Government," said KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena. At present, 103 Khadi institutions are working in J&K. Of these, 12 are primarily dealing in production of Kashmir’s globally acclaimed Pashmina Shawls.

Over 60 per cent of these shawls are produced in South Kashmir region, that is Anantnag, Bandipora, Pulwama and Kulgam. The products made in J&K have found a large number of consumers in states like Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. These products are being sold through various Khadi India Sale outlets and through KVIC e-portal.