The Thick End of the Wedge

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Employment/ Livelihood, Skilling, Training, Professional Devt.

The Thick End of the Wedge: Skill Building to Support Livelihoods

Ranjan, M P

Crafts are a great source of employment in our villages and towns. However this potential should not get translated into mere wage labour but into value added employment that is both dignified and rewarding. The new craftsman would need to be both informed and competent to handle change and for this we would need to look at the processes and opportunities that are available for the education of the craftsman. The word education too will need to be redefined and we will return to this at an appropriate stage. The existing traditional handicrafts sector has massive resources of fine skills and technical know-how and are still active in various parts around the country in the form of the traditional wisdom still embedded in the fabric of our culture. But not for long! The handicrafts sector is an enormous source of employment, particularly self-employment, for a vast numbers of people and it represents an opportunity that cannot be ignored. In many areas, production of handicrafts is the sole sources of income for the communities for whom it is the main source of sustenance. However with globalisation much of this is in rapid change due to internal and external pressures. We need to look at innovative means of enhancing the abilities of local producers to generate wealth by the use of their skills and their intellect which would need to be appropriately trained to achieve such ends. In India we have inve...
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