The Ministry of Textiles has formulated various schemes which empower women engaged in handloom and handicrafts sector.
To start with in the Handloom sector, as per the 3rd Handloom Census (2009-10), there are about 43.31 lakh handloom weavers and allied workers, of which 77% are women weavers & allied workers, who are involved in weaving and allied activities and earning income for their families. The benefits of following four schemes are reaching to women weavers and workers:
- National Handloom Development Programme which has the following components:
- Block Level Cluster
- Handloom Marketing Assistance
- Concessional credit/weavers Mudra Scheme
- Handloom Weavers’ Comprehensive Welfare Scheme
- Yarn Supply Scheme
- Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme
There is 100% subsidy to SC/ST/BPL and women weavers for construction of work sheds under National Handloom Development Programme. Under Block Level Cluster component of National Handloom Development Programme, 412 Block Level Clusters have been sanctioned in last three years and the current year (2015-16 to 2018-19), under which coverage of women beneficiaries is 1,71,822.
Seven National Awards (Kamladevi Chattopadhyay Awards) and National Merit Certificate (Kamladevi Chattopadhyay Awards) were conferred on women weavers during National Handloom Day celebrated at Jaipur on 7th August 2018.
There is 75% subsidy to SC/ST, BPL and women weavers for enrolment under NIOS and IGNOU courses. In the handicraft sector, there are about 7 million artisans in the country. Under Pehchan Initiative, approximately 25 lakh artisans have been identified for the issuance of I.D. Card and till date 19.97 lakh ID cards have already been issued. The percentage of female artisans is 56.07%.