India Declares Gold Workers as Handicraft Artisans

New Delhi: Lakhs of gold karigars across the country will stand to benefit from a recent notification issued by the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) in the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India that has accepted them as Handicraft Artisans.

With this notification, the government has acceded to a long-pending demand of the artisans and their associations. The GJEPC had supported the cause of the artisans and had strongly advocated that they be granted the status of handicraft artisans in meetings with the DC (Handicrafts).

The official memorandum from the government notes that jewellery is already one of the 32 trades listed in the Handicrafts category and states that “all activities relating to manufacturing of gold jewellery” will be recognized as “activities of handicraft artisans”. It adds that this would be applicable to all those who “satisfy the definition of handicrafts as given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court”.

As a result of this decision, the memorandum continues, “all the benefits of schemes of the Office of DC (Handicrafts) may be provided to the artisans of goldsmiths, except any type of benefit which involves the raw material i.e. gold”.

The eligible artisans can now apply for official identity card to avail of these benefits, some of which include health insurance, assistance for children’s education, credit and interest schemes etc.