THE KHADI STORY
Launching it as a weapon of political protest to promote swadeshi, Mahatma Gandhi embedded khadi firmly in the national psyche. He set up the first khadi production centre at Kathiawad, Gujarat, in 1921. A quarter of a century later, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission as we know it today came into being a year after the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act was passed in 1956. A statutory body under the micro, small and medium enterprises ministry, it seeks to “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary”. Being labour-intensive, the growth of khadi and village industries is significant in a labour surplus country like India. “Production of Khadi recorded Rs 1065.6 crore in 2015-16 and khadi activity provided employment to 11.07 lakh persons,” says Vinai Kumar Saxena, chairman, KVIC.
KVIC has been in recent years pushing khadi in the branded space. In May this year, it partnered with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd to launch a new line of khadi products under the Peter England brand. The same month, Raymond announced the launch of its khadi label—Khadi by Raymond. The company will be sourcing around 400,000 metres of khadi from khadi institutions. It has also signed an MoU with NIFT for better design development and training at different khadi institutions.
BAPU’S BOUNTY Khadi Gram Udyog showroom