Come let us pledge and make it a mass movement
Background of Khadi:
The earliest description of cotton textiles in India originates from ancient literary references. In 400 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus scripted that in India, there were “trees growing wild long furry like things, which produce a kind of wool better than sheep’s wool in splendor and quality. The Indians use this tree wool to make their clothes.”
When Alexander invaded India, his soldiers took to dress in cotton cloths that were far more comfortable in the heat than their customary woolens. Alexander’s Admiral Nearchus recorded that “the cloth worn by Indians is made by cotton grown on trees”, while another Greek historian, Strabo, described the warmth of Indian fabrics.
Interestingly, 5th-century paintings portrayed in the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra depict the process of separating cotton fibers from seeds (called ginning) as well as women spinning cotton yarn.
Gandhiji & Khadi as a national movement:
Gandhiji saw khadi as a source to help the poor living in villages to earn a livelihood. He saw khadi as a self-sufficient entity. This became a movement that aimed at boycotting foreign goods and promoting the Indian goods which would in turn boost the Indian economy. This movement gave birth to Swaraj. Soon, Khadi became a national movement under Gandhiji. All India Spinners Association was launched with the intention of propagation, production, and the selling of khadi in 1925. Techniques were improved upon and employment to the scale of two lakh was created in those days.
How Khadi cloth is made:
Khadi is mainly woven (hand spun) in pure cotton by wheel known as Charaka, but it can also be woven in silk and wool or in a mix of fibers. The making of ‘khadi’ is eco-friendly since it does not rely on electric power and the manufacturing process does not generate any toxic waste.
Types of khadi:
• Khadi Cotton Fabric: Generally made from pure cotton yarns.
• Woolen Khadi Fabric: When Khadi is being woven from wool it is called woolen khadi.
• Khadi Silk or combination of cotton or Woolen
Advantages of Khadi:
• The versatile khadi fabric has the unique property of keeping the wearer warm in winter and cool in summer. It has a coarse texture and gets easily creased, and therefore, is starched to keep it firm and stiff. On washing, it is more enhanced; the more you wash it, the better it looks. Khadi clothes usually last for 4-5 years.
• Khadi is worth more than its value because it demands time, labor and years of expertise of spinners, weavers and tailors. On average, a village weaver earns less than Rs. 150/- to 200/- per day for spinning the yarn. By patronizing Khadi clothes, we will be directly helping the weavers and supporting the low socio-economic strata of the society who are upholding the good old practice of hand spinning.
• Khadi is light and breathable, soothing to skin and wearers have majestic look and stands elegant compared to others. This handspun, natural, skin-friendly and organic fabric is ideal for Indian weather conditions and keeps the wearer cool in summer and warm in winter. Khadi is a skin-friendly fabric that ‘breathes’ and uses no chemicals in manufacturing.
• Khadi as a material is in its most pure form. It is eco-friendly. The new young generation is environmentally friendly and concerned about water conservation. 3 liters of water is sufficient to manufacture 1 meter of Khadi. However, it takes almost 56 liters of water to manufacture 1 meter of mill fabric.
• Khadi has zero carbon footprint because it is hand spun and hand woven hence, no health hazard for weavers as no chemical colours used.
Gandhiji introduced Khadi economics in India as a social experiment. It was a social venture in which khadi was to be a national industry in the interest of the masses. Khadi economics means the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of handspun yarn and handwoven cloth. It is an employment-generating activity at a rural level which leads to self-reliance.
As per MSME Ministry Government of India, data Khadi sales has grown by 30% in the last 4 years thanks to Shri. Narendra Modi lead government is encouraging Khadi at all levels. The previous growth of Khadi sales was just 6.7% only. In the last turnover was Rs. 3200/- crores and it is expected to grow to Rs. 5,000/- crores in 2019-20.
By embracing to Khadi weaving, tailoring, distribution and sales business has created over 20 lakh jobs in India by Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP)
In the last 4 years over 35,000 Charakas, 6000 looms distributed to youths in remote villages to promote Khadi industry.
Very soon all the Malls will have Khadi corners for sale of Khadi cloths.
What we can do:
As a responsible citizen to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ and support families who are into traditions of hand weaving visit Khadi stores and purchase Khadi cloths, dress materials, bed sheets, blankets, hand-kerchiefs, sarees, duppattas towels etc. Modi jacket has emerged as the most popular Khadi brand which is used in all functions. Now colorful Khadi apparels, design wears are tailor-made to suit to the liking of the present generation
The Government Departments particularly Travel & Tourism Industry, Hotels, Hospitals, Corporates, Schools & Colleges develop the spirit of wearing Khadi dress at least once in a week which is a symbol of national pride.
Caution: Online Khadi products may not be genuine. Hence, visit the nearest Khadi stores and enjoy the rebate benefits.
Gandhiji Quotes: “I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is god also. I see god in every thread I draw on the spinning wheel. The spinning wheel represents to me the hope of the masses”.