Srinagar: The Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir is providing a major impetus to bringing the registered artisans and weavers under the cooperative fold to protect the interests of the artisans under the Self-Reliant Act 1999.
As per the statement, there has been a huge surge in the formation of cooperatives during the last two years. In the year 2021-22 alone an amount of Rs 900 lakh has been disbursed to 1800 registered cooperatives (1499 Handicraft Cooperatives and 301 Handloom Cooperatives) benefitting about 2000 artisans.
"An amount of Rs. 719.50 Lakh and Rs. 180.50 lakh has been disbursed to the registered cooperatives as the first and second instalments respectively. This is in addition to the interest subvention of Rs. 2.71 crore disbursed under the Credit Card scheme for individual artisans/weavers," it said.
The figures of registered cooperatives have seen a manifold increase in almost all the practising crafts with the majority in Sozni, Crewel, Carpet and Pashmina. During the year 2020-21 a total of 1141 cooperatives were registered with the department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir with 960 and 181 from the Handicrafts and Handloom sector respectively.
Director Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir have been following up to ensure providing doorstep assistance in forming the cooperative societies with minimum paperwork.
"During the year 2021-22 a total of 1417 cooperatives were registered, 1193 and 224 from Handicrafts and Handloom sector respectively. He said the department intents to create ownership by those who use its services, the control of which rests equally with all the members in a voluntary and democratic manner. The objective of cooperation is that isolated and powerless individuals can, by combining with one another, achieve advantages available to the rich and the powerful so that they may advance not only materially but also morally."
The Department of Handicrafts & Handloom is committed to connecting the registered artisans and weavers to form Cooperatives in a particular craft, said the statement.
An official of the department said that under the scheme financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh, in two equal instalments, is provided to the Registered Cooperatives for utilisation in the procuring the raw materials and processing them to form finished goods.
The registered artisans arrange their affairs collectively thereby economizing on the costs and exploiting the marketing avenues jointly ensuring regular work and decent wages to secure low-cost credit, to purchase supplies and equipment to market products, he said.