Rs 8 crore has been sanctioned under the Samarth Scheme of the Centre’s ministry of textiles programme for skill development of 7,200 people of Meghalaya in the textiles sector.
On Monday, Union textile minister Smriti Irani informed this while laying the foundation stone for the Integrated Textiles Tourism Complex at Nongpoh, Ribhoi district, in Meghalaya. She said 30,000 people from the state would be eligible for the skill development programme under her ministry’s Samarth Scheme.
Chief minister Conrad K Sangma was also present at the function.
During her address, Irani dedicated the complex to the “cause of culture, art, handloom and handicrafts” of Meghalaya and said the Centre was committed to supplementing all the endeavours of the state government in the development of the textiles sector.
‘Pehchaan to help artisans’
Under the handicrafts sector, the Centre had created an identity card, called Pehchaan, to help artisans avail of the benefits, including free toolkits for people from economically deprived backgrounds, Irani added. Meghalaya already has close to 3,000 applicants for the programme.
Since Meghalaya is one of the hubs of ahimsa silk, the Union minister also urged the state government to utilise this capacity and promote the brand worldwide. “The sericulture sector stands to benefit immensely from the Meghalaya brand of ahimsa silk,” she said.
Irani also said the Centre had started various initiatives and encouraged artisans to pursue their studies with government funding of 75% of their education fees and to make full use of such programmes.
‘Boost for textiles industry & tourism’
Speaking at the function, CM Sangma said, “The project will not only benefit the farmers and artisans involved in the textiles industry, but also boost the tourism sector. The complex will offer opportunities for tourists seeking unique experiences through leisure activities revolving round handloom and textiles production. This innovative project will go a long way towards ensuring that both the textiles and the tourism sectors develop.”
The CM also spoke of the Centre’s various programmes and interventions to streamline the textiles industry and highlighted the immense opportunities for Meghalaya’s textiles industry in the development and production of natural organic fibres.
Later, the Union minister distributed free toolkits to beneficiaries.