New Delhi: Seeking to restore the lost glory of the once-most famous pottery of Pokhran, having a rich heritage in terracotta products, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) distributed electric potter wheels to 80 potter families.
Pokhran is a small town in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan where India conducted its nuclear test.
The village has over 300 families engaged with pottery for several decades. With heavy drudgery in the work and no market support, potters started looking for other avenues.
Now the government has initiated steps to give boos to pottery.
Apart from the electric wheels, the KVIC distributed 8 blunger machines (one each for a group of 10 potters) for mixing the clay. It can produce 800 kg clay in just 8 hours. Manually it takes 5 days to prepare 800 kg mud for pottery making.
“The main objective of Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana is to bring back the potters’ community to the mainstream. By providing potters with modern equipment and training, we are trying to reconnect them with the society and revive their art,” -Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC
KVIC has created 350 direct employment in the village. All 80 potters who were given 15 days of training by KVIC came up with some exquisite pottery. The products ranged from Kulhar to decorative pieces like flower vase, sculptures and interesting traditional utensils like spherical bottles with a narrow mouth, Lotas with long spouts, and other spherical utensils used for cooking as well as decorative pieces.
The potters depicted the “Swacch Bharat Abhiyan” and “International Yoga Day” – through their pottery art. Incidentally, it also coincided with the International Yoga Day celebrated on Sunday.
After distributing the electric chaak and other equipment through video conference, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the exercise is aligned with the Prime Minister’s call for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and strengthening of potters aimed at creating self-employment while also reviving the dying art of pottery.
“Pokhran was till now only known as the site of nuclear tests but very soon the exquisite pottery will be the new identity of this place. The main objective of Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana is to bring back the potters’ community to the mainstream. By providing potters with modern equipment and training, we are trying to reconnect them with the society and revive their art,” Saxena said.
The KVIC Chairman has also instructed the State Director of KVIC in Rajasthan to facilitate the marketing and sale of the pottery products at Barmer and Jaisalmer railway stations to provide marketing support to potters.
Notably, the KVIC has launched Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in several remote areas in states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, J&K, Haryana, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana, and Bihar. In Rajasthan, more than a dozen districts including Jaipur, Kota, Jhalawar, and Sri Ganganagar have been benefited by the program, according to PIB.
Under the scheme, the KVIC also provides equipment like blunger and pug mills for mixing clay for making pottery products. The machines have eliminated drudgery from the process of pottery making and resulted in higher income of potters by 7 to 8 times.