Lucknow Nov 20(UNI) The vision of Vocal for Local was realized this Diwali in Uttar Pradesh as Chinese import of Lakshmi- Ganesh idols and earthen lamps came to naught giving boost to the rural economy. A government official said here on Friday that a sale of over Rs. 237 Lakhs of the idols of Lakshmi and Ganesh and other clay artifacts, made by the artisans under the `Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, was registered during this Diwali. Out of this, the sale of Rs 187.35 Lakh was clocked at the stalls of Mati Kala Board erected at various places of the state and sale of over Rs 50 Lakh was registered at Mati Kala Mela-2020 at Khadi Bhawan in the State Capital. “Significantly, the sale of imported Chinese Laskhmi-Ganesh idols this Diwali remained almost nil and it encouraged the government to prepare a detailed action plan for marketing of local products in the times to come,” he said.
UP Khadi and Village Industry Minister Siddharth Nath Siungh said this was the result of a sustained planning to promote and encourage small-time local vendors and artisans. It also helped revive the traditional forms of arts and local talent in a big way, he added. Moradabad division topped in the sale of such local products like Lakshmi-Ganesh idols, earthen lamps and decoration clay articles on the occasion of Diwali having sold these products worth Rs 41.39 Lakh, followed by Lucknow Division ( Rs 13 Lakh), Bareilly division ( Rs 12 Lakh), Agra division (Rs 10 Lakh) ,Aligarh division ( Rs 2.89 Lakh) , Prayagraj division ( Rs 13 Lakh), Ayodhya division ( Rs 7.36 Lakh) , Gorakhpur division ( Rs 6 Lakh) , Jhansi division ( (Rs 6.46 Lakh), Kanpur division (Rs 3.82 Lakh) , Meerut ( Rs 5.46 Lakh). Vindhyachal ( Rs 10 Lakh) and Varanasi ( about Rs 4.17 Lakh), Chitrakoot division ( Rs 3.90 Lakh), Devipatan division (Rs 3.60 Lakh),Basti division (Rs 3 Lakh) and Saharanpur (Rs 1.21 Lakh).
Mr Singh stated that on the instructions of the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, priority was given to the Matikala Integrated Development Program to make this Diwali Vocal for Local. As many as 24000 families associated with the pottery business were allotted revenue leases to dig the clay and 2964 electric potters’ wheels has been distributed among artisans under the Mati Kala Tool-Kits Distribution Scheme. Along with this, the POP master dye has also been made available to the clay artisans for the manufacture of the modern furnace, lamp (diya) making machine, spray painting machine, painting wheel, idols, and sculptures. He also said that the beneficiaries receiving the toolkit have also been given training. It helped hone up the local skills and increase income by two-three folds besides generating employment to at least 1000 persons. The Minister also said that arrangements have also been made to provide financial assistance to artisans. A loan of Rs 4068.26 Lakh was sanctioned to 1415 beneficiaries through banks and 1402 artisans out of 2000 have been trained so far under the Mati Kala Skill Development Training Scheme, he said. It is to be known that the work of setting up a Terracotta Training and Production Facilitation Center in Lucknow at a cost of Rs 10 crore is under process, which will provide quality training, production, and marketing of finished goods to the artisans under one roof.