The handicraft industry in India is held up today by almost 7 million craftspeople with expertise in different skills, techniques and even traditional crafts. Of this figure, 56.13 per cent (or 38. 61 lakh) of craftspeople are women, as per the latest Indian handicrafts census. For a number that large, a lot of craftswomen belong to smaller clusters located in rural locations with limited access to formal education or learning resources. Unique education, upskilling and training programs, thus, play a huge role in the welfare of craftspeople as a whole. Lets look at four reasons why its important for brands and for us as customers to invest in the upskilling of women artisans.Economic BenefitsOne of the biggest positives of upskilling programs for artisans lies in the economic benefits that follow. Upskilling often leads to better quality work and upgradation of skills, giving artisans a better opportunity to earn more.Sustainability PerspectiveThe fashion industry as a whole is leading towards a sustainable change- one that requires constant updates in production processes to make businesses more sustainable. When it comes to the handicraft industry, these production processes lie in the hands of craftspeople who can help make a business more sustainable by learning newer techniques or the use of eco-friendlier materials for their crafts.Revival And Survival Of CraftsArtisan upskilling is not just beneficial for a business or the artisan, but also for the survival of the craft itself. Rooted in the Indian traditions, most crafts may fade away without proper training. For example, the export of Namda craft, which is predominantly found in the Kashmir region of India, reduced by 100 per cent between 1998 to 2008, owing to the lack of skilled resources and low availability of raw materials. The Government of India has now launched an upskilling program for the craft to revive the craft and exports.Organised Workforce And Better EmploymentA lot of state government and union government programs in India also offer upskilling opportunities to craftspeople. These are often accompanied by recognition like certificates in an otherwise unorganised industry as well as work opportunities.