Kohima: Minister of State (MoS) for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, who was in Kohima on Sunday to oversee the launching of PM Vishwakarma scheme, has advised artisans from Nagaland to explore the scheme and avail its benefits.
Balyan said that the scheme is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showing the government’s commitment to empowering skilled workers and building a brighter and more prosperous future for India.
Nagas, he said, have a history of making their own tools and equipment including machete, speakers, necklace, tattoos, weaving, traditional dolls, bangles and so on.
“Traditionally, Nagas have been making their own houses; with these skills local builders and artisans would be promoted under the scheme which is being launched for 18 trades and that would enable the local people of Nagaland to be tech-savvy and global. Our skilled workforce, our rich cultural heritage, and our unwavering spirit are our greatest assets,” Dr Balyan said.
He shared that Naga artisans can avail financial support to access better tools and methods to increase productivity and enhance the quality of local products.
“This initiative aims to harness the boundless potential of our workforce, especially those engaged in the informal sector, but have traditional rich talent and provide them with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to thrive in the ever-evolving global landscape,” Balyan said.
In this regard, he urged artisans, entrepreneurs, young students or professionals, to explore the opportunities provided through the scheme.
He pointed out that India possesses an incredibly diverse and talented workforce, and that the nation’s skill diversity was a treasure trove that would unlock the potential of the people.
Dr Balyan pointed out that at its core, the scheme recognizes the need for continuous upskilling and reskilling in a rapidly changing world especially in today’s fast-paced global environment, where technology advances at an unprecedented rate, it was imperative that the country’s workforce remain adaptable and well-prepared to seize the emerging opportunities.
Through the PM Vishwakarma Scheme, the government was providing avenues for skill development and entrepreneurship, fostering innovation and creativity, and ultimately ensuring a better livelihood for its citizens and that the program offers a comprehensive package of benefits, he said.
Some of those benefits include skill development, access to finance, technology adoption, market linkages and social security among others. He informed that people across India had gathered to celebrate the launching of the scheme that is aimed to transform the lives of artisans and workers.
He added that the PM Vishwakarma Scheme was not just a government program but a movement that was bringing about a sea change in the lives of the citizens, a testament to the fact that when the government and the people come together with a shared vision.
He added that Nagaland was not just blessed with natural beauty but also posses a rich cultural heritage that continues to inspire and enrich the nation.
Advisor for Labour, Employment & Skill Development, Moatoshi Longkumer, said that the Indian economy has contributions of a significant population of skilled artisans and craftspeople who were self-employed and operating in the informal sector, collectively known as ‘Vishwakarmas’.
He said these artisans encompass a diverse range of trades, such as blacksmithing, goldsmithing, pottery, carpentry, sculpting and more specialized skills typically passed on across generation through traditional mentor-student model, fostering a rich heritage of craftsmanship within families and informal artisan communities.
He said Nagaland has immense potential for micro- entrepreneurship ventures that could address unemployment.
While the Naga population depends on Government jobs as a source of sustainable livelihood, he said that the saturation of jobs in the Government sector, combined with the lack of industrial activities and absence of organized private sector in the state has hampered the employment opportunities of unemployed youths.
He observed that entrepreneurship remains a key solution to address and mitigate the unemployment crisis in the state. He urged the local youth to explore a path to economic upliftment through the revival and promotion of traditional skills that may seem unconventional in our rapidly digitizing world.
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“Nagaland has a large reservoir of traditional skills that encompass a wide range of crafts, from artisanal pottery to handloom weaving, from woodworking to traditional agriculture, and many more. These skills have been honed over centuries and offer a wealth of untapped potential for economic growth and empowerment,” the politician said.
He pointed out that the PM Vishwakarma scheme was a custom-made design for Nagaland as it perfectly fits the social and customary practices that have the potential to change the economic scenario of the state.
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