In a move to give a fresh lease of life to thousands of neglected traditional goldsmiths in the state, the Kerala Artisans’ Development Corporation (Kadco) is planning to begin ‘Swarna Grama Scheme’ soon.
The proposal has been presented before the Planning Board and the Finance Department for approval and Kadco officials are hopeful that the project will be realised in the near future.As part of the scheme, 150 traditional artisans will be brought under one umbrella in each district and given platform to produce traditional ornaments like kasu mala (kaasumala), palakka mala, cheruthali (thalikoottam) poothali and jhimki.
These ornaments will be sold on wholesale basis with maximum benefits to the artisans. A showroom with state-of-the-art facilities will be rented for the purpose.
In order to lure youngsters into the traditional field, training will be imparted to the children of the artisans. They will be given a stipend along with the six-month training course.
“ With the advent of major private gold players in the state, the art and livelihood of the traditional artisans has suffered a huge setback. Even today, when a traditional goldsmith sells his ornaments to private players on retail, he is being exploited. What we are aiming at is improving the revenue as well as the stature of the artisans,” Kadco chairman K Purushothaman Manjila said.
According to Kadco officials, a showroom has already been identified for the purpose in Kayamkulam, which is the first location where the project will be launched. `12 crore would be required for the project. If it proves to be successful, the project will be extended to Ernakulam.