Traditional arts and crafts must be included in the education system : Vice President

Venkaih Naidu
Representational purpose only

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkiah Naidu has urged all politicians to make it a mission to promote Khadi by wearing it. Speaking after unveiling a 150-square-metre Wall Mural of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, made of Terracotta Kullads, in New Delhi today, to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, he said ‘it certainly is a Tribute with a Difference’.

As many as 150 Potters from different parts of the country had gathered at Morbi in Gujarat – the birthplace of Rashtrapita – to produce this Mural, which was commissioned by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

The Vice President said that latest technology should be used to upgrade Khadi and emphasized the need for promoting it as a brand.

Calling for developing rural areas on par with urban regions, Shri Naidu said that said that growth would not have real meaning unless it touched the lives of people living in rural areas. Growth has to be inclusive and all amenities available in urban areas need to be provided in the rural areas as advocated by the former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam under the PURA concept.

Urging everyone to encourage ancient Indian crafts and Swadeshi spirit, Shri Naidu cautioned against growing lifestyle diseases due to sedentary living and unhealthy dietary habits. He said there was a need to return to our roots by eating healthy food, practicing yoga and spirituality.

Referring to Mural containing the image of Gandhi Ji, he said it was a true reflection of the Father of the Nation’s belief in the potential of craftsmanship and village industries. It reflects the unique cultural mosaic of India.

Observing that the concept of making this grand Wall Mural came after the huge success of KVIC’s ‘Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana’ in Varanasi where Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had distributed 280 electric potter wheels along with blungers, pug-mills and kilns to 300 potter families, he said it had not only increased the income of village potters by four to five times, but also enhanced their output in the same ratio. “This is an example of how upgradation of skills and technological advancement can transform rural economy”, he added.

Urging everyone to practice some of the essential values Gandhi Ji stood for like ‘empathy’ and ‘service’, ‘truth’ and ‘non-violence’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘sustainable development’, he said “Let each one of us shape a new India that Gandhiji and other leaders had dreamt of just as the potters have given shape to a dream creation through their deft hands”.

The Minister of State (I/C) for MSME, Shri Giriraj Singh, the Member of Parliament from New Delhi, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, the Chairman NDMC, Shri Naresh Kumar, the Chairman KVIC, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am indeed pleased to be here to unveil the 150-square-metre wall mural of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, which is made of terracotta kullads.

It is also a matter of great pride for us that at a time when the nation is celebrating Mahatma Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has decided to mark the occasion with a unique display of Gandhiji’s image made by the potters.

The image is a true reflection of Gandhiji’s belief in the potential of craftsmanship and village industries.

I am told that 150 potters from different parts of the country had gathered at Morbi in Gujarat – the birthplace of Rashtrapita – to produce this mural.

It is certainly a ‘Tribute with difference’.

It is an external manifestation of a deep reverence we have for the man who gave a timeless message through his life.

It is a worthy tribute to the man who restored dignity to the manual labour.

It is an artistic hymn created by village potters across the nation –from hilly Leh to seaside Maharashtra and from dense jungle area of Chhattisgarh to Gangetic Varanasi.

I would like to compliment KVIC for promoting village industries and the highly skilled potters because this mural is also a tribute to the exquisite craftsmanship of the potters.

I came to know that the concept of making this grand wall mural came after the huge success of KVIC’s ‘Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana’ in Varanasi, where Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had distributed 280 Electric Potter Wheels along with blungers, pug-mills and kilns to 300 potter families on 18th September 2018. It not only increased the income of village potters by four to five times, but also enhanced their output in the same ratio. This is an example of how up gradation of skills and technological advancement can transform rural economy.

Mahatma Gandhi’s vision and voice have a rare resonance in numerous hearts around the world because they spring from the timeless humanistic vision of India.

As per the Indian world view, the entire world is one large family. The following verse from the Ramayana encapsulates this universal vision.

అయం నిజః పరోవేతి గణనా లఘుచేతసామ్ |
దార పురుషానాం తు వసుధైవ కుటుంబకమ్ ||

(Only the narrow minded categorize people as ‘our own’ and ‘others’. For those who have a large heart, the entire world is just a large family)

One corollary of this view, which follows from the concept of the whole world being seen as one family, is the attitude of empathy, of sharing and caring, of a sharp focus on alleviating the agony of fellow human beings. His deep sense of compassion and inclusiveness permeated his outlook on humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi’s life embodied this attitude and value system.

It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “I am endeavouring to see God through service of humanity; for I know that God is neither in heaven, nor down below, but in everyone”.

He specially cared for the marginalized. He was a strong proponent of Gram Swaraj and truly believed that development of villages was vital for the development of the country.

Dear sisters and brothers,

This message of Gandhiji is vital at this juncture as India is at the cusp of transforming into a major economy. With a consistent growth rate of over 7 per cent, India is expected to become the third largest economy in the world in the coming years.

However, the fruits of development and prosperity must reach every section and every corner, particularly the rural areas. Efforts must be made on a war-footing by all stakeholders to end the urban-rural divide.

Here, I would like to remind all of you that Gandhi ji had established the “All India Village Industries Association” at Wardha and devoted most of his time towards reorganization of Indian villages.

Gandhiji worked relentlessly towards revival of village crafts, agro processing industries, and promoted village cleanliness and sanitation.

Rural crafts do play a remarkable role in village development. Also, pottery plays an important role in studying culture and reconstructing the past.

Recently, the Ministry of Railways has decided to use locally produced, environment-savvy terracotta products like Kullads, glasses and plates for serving catering items to passengers. This will certainly enable the local Kumhar community to earn higher income.

Dear Sisters and Brothers!

The life of Mahatma is all about internal reflection, self purification and harmonisation of individual and universal objectives.

The principle of ‘Ahimsa’ so eloquently propounded by Mahatma encompasses all aspects of our personality ranging from our thoughts to our deeds. If every human being is at peace with himself or herself, there will be peace all around in the outer world.

Gandhi Ji experimented with himself a great deal and never suggested anything to anybody in which either he did not believe himself or did not follow himself. That is how he had acquired the moral authority to suggest that “Be the change you want to be”.

We are celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of that great soul this year.

The best way of paying a genuine tribute to Mahatma is to sincerely introspect as to whether we are living the values of this great son of our county.

Let us practice some of the essential values he stood for like ‘empathy’ and ‘service’, ‘truth’ and ‘non-violence’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘sustainable development’.

Let each one of us shape a new India that Gandhiji and other leaders had dreamt of just as the potters have given shape to a dream creation through their deft hands.

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