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Artisan Credit Cards scheme launched in the Capital

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Central Bank of India has launched the Artisan Credit Cards scheme to provide loans to potters under an initiative of the South Asia Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

The first batch of 70 potters has already been handed over the Artisan Credit Cards which will help them get access to emergency financial requirement up to Rs.2 lakh.

The South Asia Foundation (SAF) is working for the overall development of around 700 potters and their families settled at Kumhaargram, Sainik Enclave, New Delhi.

It is believed that in 1968 constant draught, availability of too little water, and unfavourable economic conditions forced the potters and their families from Alwar in Rajasthan to come to Delhi and settle here. Though they left their traditional villages but they brought with them the enormous skill of traditional pottery, manifestation of our rural India's craftsmanship.

This settlement opened new opportunity to other traditional potters of Delhi and the surrounding areas.

In 1984 another group of migration took place. These traditional potters purchased lands in Delhi, to make Delhi their home and finally the Kumhaargram of Sainik Enclave, Vikas Nagar came into being.

South Asia Foundation is the only non-governmental development organization that has been working with these potters , for improving their socio-economical condition.

The Foundation has been working with these potters for the past two decades. This is believed to be the largest potters' settlement in Asia.

This Project of ACC which is a major program carried by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles to build financial capacity of these artisans, has been taken forward by SAF in many parts of the country.

Housing loan

Those having the AC Cards can also avail of housing finance at a subsidized rate of interest for constructing house-cum-work-shed.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, too, has announced that crafts skill and crafts studies would be included in the school syllabus so that students take it up as a hobby so as to appreciate artisan's way of life.

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