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LS Speaker moots Labour university

New Delhi: Seeking dignity for artisans, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday mooted a Labour University that would award degrees to persons with special skill sets.

Voicing concern over the fast disappearing craft like the famous Benares saree, Kumar said if such artisans are awarded degrees by a special university, it would help them gain status in the society.

"Today, the children of artisans are not keen to take up the profession of their parents as they feel they cannot live a life of dignity by their art alone," she told PTI here.

The Speaker said that she had taken up the matter with the government and hoped there will be a positive response to her proposal.

Kumar said she had been thinking about the issue for quite some time and strongly felt that awarding a degree to artisans, carpenters, plumbers, masons and gardners will help them gain status in the society.

"We tend to forget the services rendered by masons, gardners, carpenters in building the country. It is these people who turn to reality the vision of engineers and architects," the Speaker said.

She said the university could function on the principle of the Gurukul where the teacher trains the student in a particular art.

Kumar also favoured as much documentation as possible of the rare traditional arts of the country to enable future generations to draw upon.

She said the university could be started on a pilot basis initially and could have regional hubs across the country later.

The Speaker said she was amazed by the enormous knowledge about plants her gardner had gathered in the 35 years he had been in the trade.

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