Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 36th edition of his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” said that, ‘Khadi is not just a cloth, but a movement that should be taken forward’. After promoting the essence of Yoga and its importance, PM Modi switched to another chapter in a bid to promote Khadi.
Now, the fabric is the sought-after material these days and due to which employment opportunities among poor and needy people have seen a meteoric rise. PM Narendra Modi labelled Khadi as a philosophy and said that people came forward to promote khadi and bolster the Swachh Bharat campaign.
What is a Khadi?
Khadi means hand-spun and hand-woven cloth. The raw materials such as cotton, silk, or wool are spun into threads on a charkha which is a traditional spinning implement. Khadi was brought to light in 1920 as a political weapon in the Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhi.
Khadi is obtained from different parts of India. Silk is obtained from West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and North Eastern states whereas the cotton variety is spun in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Khadi poly is sourced from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir Karnataka are identified for sourcing woolen variety.
PM Modi’s speech on Khadi inspired lakhs of Khadi workers, artisans and the entire organization. Two years, ago, he addressed over 5.42 lakhs khadi workers and artisans through the Modi App and wrote letters to them. The journey began when PMO placed an order to supply 377 khadi woolen coat, jersey and socks for its office staff.
Then, the Prime Minister’s office submitted an order to supply 10,000 khadi handmade paper file covers. When things went according to the plan, the sales have increased by 34% in 2015-16 because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his efforts at promoting Khadi and its products.
As per the reports from Business Standard, Khadi industry has increased its sales worth Rs 50,000 crores for the first time in India. The sales of village industry grew 24% and khadi sales increased by 31% to Rs 1,396 crore, while village industries saw a 23% rise to Rs 41,110 crore. The small scale industries’ products include honey, soaps, cosmetics, furniture and food items.
Khadi and other village products took centrestage and special attention was paid to them. Khadi has also played a major part in several national service sectors like Airlines, Navy, Railways, Postal Department. JK Cement group, which is India’s Premier Cement Company and leading corporate house has also agreed to terms to use Khadi dress material for uniforms in all their schools, colleges and factories.
The government has been welcoming guests with khadi handkerchiefs or gift books instead of offering bouquet to promote Khadi. “The government is aiming at making the ‘Khadi’ a global product identity of India, as it did for Yoga. But before, taking the major step, it plans to put its house in order. A global identity of Khadi would also allow many rural artisans to earn better,” a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Economic Times.