Udhampur, Nov 19: A husband-wife duo in Udhampur, has revitalised the bamboo craft industry. Engaged in the age-old craft, Meena Devi and her husband Bishan Dass have not only revived this traditional art form but have also embraced modernization with the latest machines provided by the government.
The Jammu and Kashmir government's Karkhandar scheme, aimed at reviving fading crafts and promoting the overall development of the craft sector in the Union Territory, has played a pivotal role in this transformation.
Launched in 2021 as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the Kharkhanadar Scheme under the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom Department Jammu has proven to be a game-changer for artisans in the region.
Under this scheme, the Udhampur-based artisans have received state-of-the-art machines, significantly reducing the time required for bamboo crafting and increasing their earning potential.
This initiative, known for promoting 'Golden Hands' and contributing to India's self-reliance, has breathed new life into the traditional craft.
Meena Devi, a central figure in this success story, received her training in bamboo craft at the Bhagpur Bamboo Craft Training Centre in 1982.
Along with her husband, Bishan Dass, from Nagrota, near Girls Middle School in Udhampur, Meena Devi is now engaged in bamboo craft using the latest machines provided by the Government of India under its schemes.
These modern machines have not only saved time but have also enhanced their income and production of bamboo crafts.
Meena Devi and her husband shared that earlier they worked manually, which limited their production and profitability, as bamboo craft requires a lot of effort.
They expressed their gratitude to the Government of India for launching this scheme, which has enabled them to save time, increase production, and enhance their earnings.
Speaking to ANI, Meena Devi said, “Earlier the work was done by hand but now machines are being used. The government has helped in this regard...My husband and I are engaged in this work. Earlier there were problems regarding the arrangement of bamboo but today it is available everywhere...There are different varieties of bamboo and these are easily available today."
While Bishan Dass said "I retired in 2018 and since then I have been engaged in the handicraft work with my wife...I want to thank the Government of India for giving us a loan for purchasing the machines...We have trained 10 women in this regard...Handicrafts are in great demand today."
Meena Devi and her husband create a variety of decorative items, including lamps, flags, trays, and many more, from bamboo.
They thanked the Union government as well as the J-K UT Administration for their support in reviving traditional crafts.
The Kharkhanadar Scheme's impact extends beyond just providing machines; it also offers training and market linkage opportunities to artisans. This holistic approach has empowered artisans like Meena Devi and Bishan Dass, enabling them to preserve their ancestral craft while also prospering economically. (ANI)