The state government launched a new scheme to help handloom and handicraft artisans, named after RSS pracharak and a mentor of Prime minister Narendra Modi, Dattopant Thengadi.
Finance Minister Saurabh Patel announced the “Dattopant Thengadi Karigar Vyaj Sahay Yojana” on Tuesday that would help artisans and craftsmen, especially from Kutch to get loans up to Rs 1 lakh from banks. The government would be guarantor for those loans.
Thengadi, who founded the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, was from Wardha in Maharashtra and died in 2004.
Thengadi was one of the many senior RSS pracharaks who influenced Modi in his formative years Sangh. Sources in the RSS told The Indian Express that Thengadi developed a liking for Modi’s efficiency during the days of Emergency and appointed him as a key researcher on the role of RSS during that period.
The assignment in 1979 gave Modi the first chance to stay in Delhi for several months and interact with powerful leaders. Under the Dattopant Yojana, the government planned to provide a 7-per cent-interest subvention for three years on bank loan which would benefit about 50,000 artisans.