India launches pilot project to revive Namda craft in Kashmir

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Indian minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship and electronics & information technology, recently launched two pilot projects to revive and catalyse Kashmir’s traditional Namda craft and enhance the skills of artisans and weavers in the state.

The Namda project will benefit 2,250 people of 30 Namda clusters from six districts—Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Budgam and Anantnag.

Namda is a rug made of sheep wool through felting technique instead of normal weaving process. Due to low availability of raw material, lack of skilled manpower and marketing techniques, the export of this craft has declined by almost 100 per cent between 1998 and 2008.

The Namda initiative is a special pilot project under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0 and the second one on upskilling 10,900 artisans and weavers is under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) component of PMKVY, an official release said.

The Namda project will be implemented in 25 batches in three cycles of training. Each training programme will be of approximately three and half months, which results in the cycles being completed in approximately 14-16 months.

A similar pilot project will also be launched next month in Nagaland state to train over 4,000 artisans and weavers there.

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