Na­tional Fab­ric

India Today - - STATES - —Kaushik Deka

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.

MILLING AHEAD

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.

M ZHAZO

BAPU’S BOUNTY Khadi Gram Udyog show­room

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