(IANS): Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday urged the people, particularly youngsters, to buy and promote Indian handicraft, handlooms, Khadi and other products made by local artisans instead of foreign items.
The Vice President, who after visiting Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur arrived in Tripura on Wednesday and inaugurated an exhibition of handloom and handicraft products in Agartala, and interacted with a group of achievers who have excelled in the fields of Self Help Groups, primary sector and frontline healthcare workers.
Urging people to be ‘Vocal for Local’, Naidu said that he was hugely impressed by various products like bamboo bottles, bamboo handbags, artificial flowers, agarbati, Risha (traditional tribal stole), mulberry silk products and agar tree perfume-oil that were on display.
“Handlooms and handicraft occupy a very special place in Indian society and culture. They are not only important markers of our shared cultural heritage, but also provide livelihood to millions of people. It is our duty to support our handloom and handicraft and take pride in them,” he said.
Praising the talent and craftsmanship of the artisans, weavers and makers of other traditional products, he said they needed to be encouraged.
The Vice President said there was enormous talent and knowledge among Indians and India is uniquely blessed with a demographic dividend with about 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years and 50 per cent below 25 years.
He said the need of the hour is to identify the talent and impart training to artisans and craftspersons to upgrade their skills.
He also urged the Centre and state governments to accord more importance to providing timely and affordable credit and marketing avenues to artisans and weavers to enable them to generate income and stand on their own feet.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Industry and Commerce (HHS) Mevar Kumar Jamatia, North Eastern Council Secretary K. Moses Chalai among other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Tripura government has accorded a civic reception to the Vice-President and a colourful cultural function was organised by the state government in his honour.