Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave away National Awards for khadi weavers and spinners, in addition to bankers who helped in providing credit to the weavers and other entrepreneurs.
The awards were to boost the confidence of the small and medium entrepreneurs facing the challenge of globalisation. The khadi sector is being given particular importance because of the centenary of Gandhi’s satyagraha in South Africa and the 60th anniversary of Indian Independence.
The total employment in the khadi sector is over 60 million, Kumudben Joshi, chairperson, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), informed. The aspects of people’s livelihood and well-being in this sector are of tremendous importance. Acknowledging them through awards will encourage entrepreneurs to strive harder and contribute to economic and social development.
In his address, Singh said, “Our government has charted a new strategy based on Cluster Development, which offers a holistic and integrated approach to the SME sector’s development. We have also taken up skill development as a high-priority area. I have recently announced our decision to set up a National Mission on Vocational Education and Skill Development, and we intend to fund more polytechnics and ITIs to address the growing demand for skilled manpower of our enterprises.”
The prime minister pointed out that the small and medium enterprises sector contributed to growth of new industries as well as new industrial centres. “Nowhere is this spirit of enterprise, this willingness to take risk and an eagerness to strike out on one’s own to seek a fortune, more in evidence than in our small and medium enterprises sector.”
– Bangalore Bureau