Seeking to empower and associate the marginalized potters’ community with India’s quest to become “Aatmanirbhar”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today distributed 100 electric potter wheels to 100 trained artisans under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Amit Shah distributed the electric chaaks in village Balwa under Kalol Taluka in his parliamentary constituency of Gandhinagar via video conference from New Delhi.
Lauding the Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, the Home Minister said the initiative would go a long way in strengthening the marginalized potters’ community while also reviving the traditional art of pottery. He also interacted with five potters – Ashok Bhai Prajapati, Rajesh Bhai Prajapati, Jayanti Bhai Prajapati, Surekhaben Prajapati and Velji Bhai Prajapati – who have been given 10-days training by KVIC in pottery making and provided with electric chaak and other equipment to empower them.
“I am glad to see the change that has ushered in the lives of our potters. Our government in the Centre is always concerned for better livelihood of the Prajapati community. The distribution of electric chaak is a gift from our Prime Minister to the people of Gujarat,” Amit Shah said.
The Home Minister assured the potters that arrangements, including tie-up with the railway, will be made to provide proper marketing channel for selling their products. Amit Shah appreciated the efforts of KVIC in providing sustainable employment opportunities to the weaker sections through its schemes. “Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana is one such step towards making the potters’ community “Aatmanirbhar”. I am hopeful that KVIC will continue to work for the benefit of marginalized sections,” he said.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena informed that more than 17,000 electric chaaks have so far been distributed across the country benefiting nearly 70,000 people of the potters’ community. “This has impacted the lives of potters in a big way. With electric chaaks, the production of clay items has increased by manifold. At present, nearly 2 crore kulhars are made every day across the country. Potters are successfully selling these kulhars at 400 railway stations which is a perfect marketing platform for them,” Saxena said.
It may be noted that several regions of Gujarat, particularly Kutch and Saurashtra, are well-known for the traditional pottery art. Since the launch of Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in 2018, the KVIC has trained nearly 750 potters from different villages in Gujarat. Besides training them in pottery making, KVIC has also distributed them with electric potter wheels and other equipment like blunger machines for mixing of clay. This has eliminated drudgery from the process of pottery making and also resulted in increasing the production and higher income of potters by 3-4 times.
In Gandhinagar district, KVIC has trained 100 potters and distributed 100 electric potter wheels and 10 blunger machines. The average income of potters under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana has gone up from nearly Rs 3000 per month to nearly Rs 10,000 per month.