Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi started a movement for Khadi in 1918 as relief programme for the poor living in the villages. Spinning and weaving was elevated to an ideology for self-reliance and self-government. Ever since, Khadi has been a trademark fashion style from common people to politician.
But, after the liberalization in 1991, when Indian economy opened the door for global market, fashion got universal acceptance as well. Since then, market of Khadi is dwindling. After, NDA government came to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took development of Khadi on a priority and paid more attention to it. It got huge response and Khadi is gradually becoming symbol of Indian tradition.
The job of planning, promotion and implementation of programs for the development of Khadi is being handled by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). SMEpost.com sought insight and opinion on following few queries from CEO of KVIC, Arun Kumar Jha.
Q: Union Textile Minister Smriti Zubin Irani has launched a “iwearhandloom” campaign. It has gone viral on social media. Before this, Prime Minister Modi in his “Man Ki Baat” programme said that real tribute to Gandhi Ji can be paid only by embracing Khadi. How do you see the growth of Khadi during last two years and what changes have come so far?
A: Khadi really saw a resurgence with PM Modi’s clarion call in his radio talk”Man Ki Baat” in 2014 to buy Khadi. This had electrifying impact on the people everywhere which has resulted in increase in Khadi sales in all its showrooms and branches. People have become more aware of Khadi and are purchasing Khadi in large numbers. People’s attraction to buy Khadi has helped in growth of Khadi sector. Khadi production in the country during the year 2015-16 has reached Rs. 1065 crore which has generated employment for 11.07 lakh persons.
Q: Do you think Khadi is becoming a fashion trend? If yes, then how?
A: All over the world, the people are in the search of alternative lifestyle, eco-friendly and ethnic product. Khadi & Village Industries have potential to meet those aspirations while serving the purpose of providing employment. Khadi, over a period of time, has evolved from livery of freedom struggle to a fashion statement and has in a limited way appealed to the minds of youth who are looking for comfort, design, style and brand.
Khadi products are hand woven, handspun and have a unique appeal of being cool in summer and warm in winter and being skin friendly in nature.
Q: Recently, KVIC bagged big orders from NTPC and IIT. How much demand will grow further?
A: Order from institutes like NTPC and IIT, Mumbai are a significant achievement for KVIC. I also appreciate departments like Railways, Postal Department, Para Military Forces, Delhi Police, JK Cement, Air India, for extending their support by patronizing the Khadi Sector.
In its quest to counter rapidly growing taste in the urban market KVIC is giving more thrust to the marketing possibilities. It is known for its iconic 7050 working departmental sales outlets which are managed by KVIC and institutions all over the country.