India's vibrant handicraft sector weaves a rich tapestry of economic, cultural, and social significance. It breathes life into rural communities, providing livelihoods for over 7 Mn, especially women and marginalised groups predominantly in the rural areas. Its intricate creations not only earn valuable foreign exchange exceeding INR 30,000 Cr in 2022-23 through exports but also preserve India's heritage, connecting the present to its artistic past. The artisan economy also impacts 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Usually self-employed, these artisans and craftsmen, also referred to as Vishwakarmas, account for a significant section of the workforce in the unorganised or informal sector of the economy. By enabling these Vishwakarmas to improve their respective trades and the practice of occupation, the PM Vishwakarma scheme, launched in September 2023 initially implemented for five years up to 2027-28, would result in their better socio-economic status and quality of life.

The artisan economy holds the potential for long-term employment generation and sustainable growth of the textile sector in India. Most artisans are Dalit, tribals, backward communities or rural women whose mobility is restricted due to social or cultural norms. Hence, the artisanal economy becomes even more crucial for greater financial and social inclusion of marginalised creative and socially backward communities. 

The skills passed from one generation to another within families or other informal groups, following a Guru-Shishya Parampara, has kept the rich culture and art of craftsmanship alive. By integrating these Vishwakarmas into domestic and global value chains, the PM Vishwakarma scheme will help improve the quality and reach of products and services.

PM Vishwakarma Scheme Eligibility Criteria  

The PM Vishwakarma Scheme covers artisans and craftsmen who work with their hands and tools, such as carpenters, boat makers, armourers, blacksmiths, hammer and tool kit makers, locksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors, stone breakers, cobblers, masons, basket/mat/broom maker/coir weavers, doll & toy market (traditional), barbers, garland makers, washermen, tailors, and fishing net makers.  

To avail of the scheme benefits, craftsmen and artisans can apply for free registration via mobile number and Aadhaar card at their nearest common service centre (CSC) with Aadhaar-based biometric authentication on the PM Vishwakarma portal. The village panchayat or urban local body will verify and send the application to the district implementation committee for vetting. The local bank officials and MSMEs will approve the vetted applications, following which the Vishwakarmas will receive a Certificate and ID card.  

Benefits of the Vishwakarma Scheme for Artisans and Craftsmen 

The Government of India has allocated INR 13000 Cr for the PM Vishwakarma Scheme to provide technological tools for offering financial assistance along with training, advanced techniques, and skill-related guidance.  

Under the PM Vishwakarma scheme, artisans and craftsmen would be provided basic training for 5-7 days and advanced training for 15 days or more, with a stipend of INR 500 per day. At the beginning of basic skill training, an incentive of up to INR 15000 for toolkits in e-vouchers would be granted. Beneficiaries who have completed basic training would be eligible for the first tranche of credit support of up to INR 1 Lakh. The second loan tranche can be availed by those who have availed the first tranche, taken advanced training, maintained a standard loan account, and adopted digital transactions in their business. The government would also provide marketing support to the artisans and craftspeople through quality certification, branding, onboarding on eCommerce platforms, and other marketing activities to enhance the reach and availability of their products and services.  


PM Vishwakarma scheme is a much-needed scheme to upgrade the skills of Vishwakarma and to provide support for better and modern tools to enhance their capability, productivity, and quality of products and services, and to provide a platform for brand promotion and market linkages to help them access new opportunities for growth. So far, over 125700 craftsmen have successfully registered to take benefits of the scheme.

Overall, the PM Vishwakarma Scheme holds significant potential to empower artisans and revitalise India's craft sector. By providing holistic support with financial aid, skill development, market access, and recognition, the scheme will contribute to the socio-economic well-being of artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts for future generations.

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