Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - OPINION -

THE soon to be re­leased Bol­ly­wood film Sui Dhaaga (Nee­dle and Thread) is in­spired by the gov­ern­ment’s “Made in In­dia” cam­paign. The film sheds light on the life and strug­gle of ar­ti­sans who en­sure their art of em­broi­dery doesn’t die.

The film opens with the aim­less lead ac­tor Mauji (Varun Dhawan) who is happy do­ing mea­gre work un­til his wife Mamta (Anushka Sharma) in­spires him to gain his sel­f­re­spect and start his own busi­ness.

Mauji picks up his old sewing ma­chine and be­gins his jour­ney to­wards self-em­ploy­ment, as his wife helps him ex­pand it into a small-scale hand-loom in­dus­try. It’s a story from be­ing un­em­ployed to self-em­ployed.

In­dia, which has the sec­ond largest pop­u­la­tion in the world and mil­lions of mouths to feed with lit­tle help from the gov­ern­ment, has a pol­icy of de­vel­op­ing small-scale cot­tage in­dus­tries to help fam­i­lies to sur­vive.

In South Africa, the unions and labour re­la­tion laws, for ex­am­ple, the min­i­mum wage scale, are all mill­stones around the neck of progress.

It may sur­prise many peo­ple to know that In­dia ex­ports not only agri­cul­tural pro­duce world-wide but also hu­man ex­per­tise to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties.

In­dia is the fifth largest econ­omy glob­ally and de­spite be­ing a nu­clear power and de­vel­op­ing a space pro­gramme, it does not wait for hand-outs like spoilt South Africans. It re­spects the dig­nity of hu­man labour, no mat­ter how me­nial.

JAYRAJ BACHU | Clare Es­tate, Dur­ban

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