Handicrafts & the Indian Economy




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India has always been a hub for everything
handcrafted right from jewelry to clothing and small intricate show pieces to
soft and colorful cushion covers. Handicrafts have always been important for
the development of the Indian economy.
Handicrafts & the Indian Economy

Now, the Indian hand-made industry is on its way
to achieving the status that it has been denied for decades. For centuries the
Indian subcontinent is known for handcrafted items manufactured by labor
intensive techniques. Indian artisans are skilled people who have mastered the
art of working on wood, shells, clay, stones and rocks and metal, etc. India is
the manufacturer of various kinds of handmade products such as:
Wooden and terracotta jewelry
Bamboo Handicrafts
Cane Handicrafts
Bell Metal Handicrafts
Bone and Horn crafts
Brass Handicrafts
Clay products or Pottery
Dhokra Handicrafts
Jute items and crafts
Paper Handicrafts
Rock and stone Handicrafts
Shell Handicraft
Silver Filigree or Meenakari or
Tarakashi Handicrafts
Hand weaving or Embroidery
Wood Handicrafts
The rural parts of the country in particular
stand to gain a lot from this sector because it is highly labor intensive. This
is beneficial for the country as a sizeable section of population here is
The ongoing globalization trends though in favor
of many industries do not favor the handmade goods sector as there is quite a
bit of competition that they have to face from machine made produce that is
insanely low cost. These substitutes are the immediate choice of consumers
worldwide due to their wide availability. The handmade goods industry offers
higher returns at lower cost and the Indian Government is working to provide
maximum assistance to artisans at minimum cost. This is expected to help them
garner sustainable growth in the long run and increase employment
This is also a great source of foreign exchange
and overall socio economic development after agriculture. This is especially
true because Indian handicrafts have been admired internationally for their
sheer attention to detail and brilliance and finish. The stunning mix of colors
and textures further adds to its exquisite appeal. Indian craftsmanship
encompasses handmade clothing, crochet, jewelry of all kinds, for both men and
women, handmade knitted items and decorative pieces of numerous kinds and the
list just goes on. Right now, rurally located units and small scale cottage
industries in the country are the main contributors of handicrafts produced in
India with a share of about 78%. Close to 76% of the artisans in the country
are self employed and both men and women involved in the production of these
goods now seek to export their products to countries like the US, UK, Europe
and Australia. 
According to studies, demand of such items is continuously
growing in the international markets and their overall exports are expected to
surpass $400 million by 2017. As I said earlier, being labor intensive the
handmade goods sector could help in reduction of unemployment and the average
wage of the creator here is far more than what one earns in agriculture and its
allied sector. India is not the only country that stands to gain out of
promoting its handicrafts industry. It is evident from numerous researches that
countries like China and many parts and provinces of Africa too can benefit
from this as it promises enhanced social and financial status everywhere.
Therefore, what we need is significant attempts at innovations and introduction
to modern technology in the handicrafts field which would eventually lead to a
better and more flourishing economy.
The promotional efforts undertaken by the
ministry showed a growth of 18.25% for the period of April-September 2016 which
is a staggering Rs. 13,005.35 crore. According to reports by Indian
governmental authorities handicrafts exports are expected to grow to Rs. 23,560
crore in the year 2016-17. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts
Executive Director Rakesh Kumar stressed on promoting these goods to markets in
the US, Europe, Latin America and The Middle East as they show better
To further improve exports the government has
decided to enhance duty benefits for the artisan community. The council is also
participating in 30 to 35 exhibitions and fairs oversees every year to promote
Indian handmade goods in the international markets. These participations will
prove beneficial in promoting a healthy and positive image of the Indian
handicrafts industry.
Talking about duty benefits, there are 63
handmade items that are going to boost exports. These include candles,
handbags, shopping bags, handmade wooden frames for mirrors and photos and
handmade paper and shawls and mufflers, etc. The rates of these items and more
have been amended under the MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) according
to a statement made by the director general of foreign trade. 
Time holds a brighter future for the handmade
goods sector in India and the promise of improved employment opportunities is a
chance for everyone to live a more complete and rewarding life.
Author Bio
Hi I am John Miller. I love and live for
everything artistic. My only crime is that I observe too much and then make
sure to write it down before I forget all about it. I am a quality manager at

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