Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 17 (ANI): On the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scheme, dedicated to the 'Vishwakarmas' of the country, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Sunday said that an exhibition, especially for the spouses of the G20 leaders, was set up earlier this month to showcase the works traditional artisans produced over thousands of years.
The External Affairs Minister was speaking at the PM Vishwakarma event, which he attended via video conference from Thiruvananthapuram.
He said that during the recently concluded G20 Summit, in the national capital, PM Modi felt that we should show the world leaders and especially their spouses, the Indian culture and tradition.
"All of you have heard Prime Minister Modi say that the G20 achievement was the achievement of 140 crore Indians. We were able together to demonstrate the influence, culture, and heritage of India. When all the leaders came to Delhi. PM Modi felt that we should show them (world leaders) and especially their spouses what is Indian culture and tradition about. So we did an exhibition to which we took all the 'spouses of the G20 leaders'," Jaishankar said.
He said that the exhibition, which was being coordinated by his own wife, was about 5,000 years of Vishwakarma's work and heritage. "It showed jewellery, statues, utensils, fabrics, scripts, and what Indian art and craft has produced over thousands of years," the EAM said.
Observing that ultimately it is the Vishwakarmas, who leave the imprint of culture on history, Jaishankar said, "It is they (who) through their creativity, work, and devotion, are able to take ideas from people's minds and with the power of their hands, they are able to create something (which is) not just an object, but a tradition, which they leave behind and that is really the enormous value that they bring to us."The External Affairs Minister asserted that, unlike many countries, India should conserve its traditional artisans and craftspeople.
"When we look at the world, I must also say that many countries have actually seen that skills and traditions, over a period of time, they vanish. They vanish because of globalisation, and industrialisation. (Also because) people have forgotten the traditions, the family have not passed it on to the next generation. So what has happened to many countries, should not happen to us. Because we are the oldest civilisation in the world," he said.
The minister said that today we have gathered here to strengthen the identity, heritage, the culture of India and to make sure that what we have recieved over the thousands of years, is passed on for more thousand years.
"PM Vishwakarma is a part of a larger thinking. It is a thinking, which captures the make in India, vocal for local, one district one product, and which promotes the tourism with supporting the startup India and skill India," he said, adding that but at the heart of it are a set of communities, who for generations kept the cultures, beliefs, traditions of this society.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi launched the 'PM Vishwakarma Scheme' aimed at benefitting traditional artisans and craftspeople on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti.
Prime Minister Modi made the announcement after inaugurating the Rs 5,400 crore first phase of the India International Convention Centre (IICC), named Yashobhoomi in Dwarka, on his birthday today. He also interacted with artisans and craftspeople at the Centre.
PM Modi in his address today said artisans will be provided proper training and that during the training period, they will receive a stipend of Rs 500 per day.
"The friends who have been at the root of India's prosperity for thousands of years are our Vishwakarmas," he told artisans.
"With the blessings of Lord Vishwakarma, 'Pradhanmantri Vishwakarma Yojana' is being started today. PM Vishwakarma Yojana comes as a new ray of hope for millions of families working traditionally with hand skills and tools," the Prime Minister said.
He urged the artisans to purchase toolkits only from those shops that GST registered and the products are Made in India.
PM Vishwakarma will be fully funded by the Union Government with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore. The artists will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training, toolkit incentive of Rs 15,000, collateral-free credit support up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5 per cent, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support.
Eighteen traditional crafts will be covered under PM Vishwakarma. These include Carpenter; Boat Maker; Armourer; Blacksmith; Hammer and Tool Kit Maker; Locksmith; Goldsmith; Potter; Sculptor, Stone breaker; Cobbler (Shoesmith/ Footwear artisan); Mason (Rajmistri); Basket/Mat/Broom Maker/Coir Weaver; DollToy Maker (Traditional); Barber; Garland maker; Washerman; Tailor; and Fishing Net Maker. (ANI)