Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday distributed PAHCHAN identity cards to artisans of five clusters of Gujarat -- Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli and Kalol.
The cards will give national identity to the artisans who will be covered under a national database. The artisans can avail of benefit of any government scheme through these cards.
Irani also announced that 20 artisans of each of the five clusters will be imparted training by nationally-acclaimed designers.
"The minister announced that artisans belonging to minority communities, Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and BPL families will be provided free tool kits as per their art," an official statement read.
The ministry will organise insurance camps in February at residential locations of the artisans and take credit guarantee and insurance schemes to their doorstep.
The camp for PAHCHAN was launched on October 7 nationwide to ensure a unique identity to the handicraft artisans. The cards being distributed shall provide benefits, including easy access to loan, insurance and credit guarantee funds.
By the help of this card, they will find it easier to participate in any domestic or international fair.
On top of it, the artisans can get the benefit of life insurance and Rs 1,200 per year for their children studying between class 9 and 12.
The minister distributed the PAHCHAN cards at Ahmedabad Haat, Vastrapur, near Ahmedabad after inaugurating the thematic exhibition on handicrafts products.
The fair has been conceptualised with a view to providing a direct marketing platform for innovative products developed by 20 handicraft artisans from various parts of India, covering different crafts.