As rightly said, Old is Gold, and as we know that’s true, India is now trying to conserve its age-old Khadi, which was started by India’s “Bapu” Mahatma Gandhi long back when India was fighting with Britishers. That was a hard time for Indians and the reason behind this practice by Gandhi was that people should stay connected to their roots and at the same time it will also help them with some employment opportunities, keeping love towards their country alive. Now in this 21st century, India is experiencing the similar in Modi ji’s government that is helping the Indians by getting them involved in khadi business giving the new meaning to this age old practice. Government employees may soon be seen wearing khadi to work. Something different to accept isn’t it? “A uniform” we may call it as. Let’s read further about how it is going to be.
In an order to boost the production of Khadi, the government is considering a plea from Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC), to encourage their officers to wear clothes made from the hand-spun fabric at least once a week to boost their production. By wearing Khadi to work, Friday dressing may give it a new experience for government employees. This can benefit and encourage small weavers across the country.
And the good news is that government officers are not opposed to this appeal. One of the officers expressing his views on Khadi said, “I wear handloom saris most of the time. It’s not a big deal.” Some of the officers are already wearing Fabindia shirts and they said that it’s a “Good Idea” which will also add a new material to their wardrobe.
The central government currently has around 35 lakh employees, excluding railways and defence personnel. An officer said that “Even if everyone buys one Khadi garment, imagine the rise in sales,” which is quiet acceptable.
A lady busy weaving khadi materal
According to the TOI reports KVIC chairman VK Saxena said that “We are discussing this with the government and we will make an appeal. Employees can wear it to work on just one day.” Sources inside the government have said that even though this exercise may be voluntary, the main focus is to increase the Khadi sales.
Advising people to purchase Khadi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a brand ambassador for Khadi and this has already provided a zest to sales. Now the major task for KVIC is to boost the production, as they have already pushed khadi as an option on several occasions like a uniform in government schools, defence forces, railways and Air India.
KVIC recently has won a tender worth Rs.40 crore from the railways. Saxena also mentioned that some of the private companies such as JK Cement had decided to completely shift to Khadi uniforms. So the main focus as said above is only to concentrate more on production, price and quality of their product. KVIC is also entering into tie-ups individually with companies such as Fabindia and Raymond to retail high-end khadi.
Bapuji (Mahatma Gandhi is busy waving khadi)
Mr. Saxena said with regards to Rs.40crore tender from railways that, “We are not seeking charity. We are competing on the basis of quality and price.” The main aim is to step up the production and to increase the share of Khadi from 1% to around 3-3.5% in overall textile production. KVIC is expecting to push production rate beyond 7% in upcoming years.
When the government has taken one step towards giving Khadi a new identity through government offices, also schools and all other educational institutions should be encouraged to buy and wear Khadi during the teaching hours. As the time goes steadily Khadi may create its own position in the market by boosting its production and creating a huge demand in India. We never know in the span of time it may reach across the world. Right now, it is only demanding a bit a recognition and space in the market so that it will encourage small weavers to continue with it keeping the old Gold flourishing.