New Delhi, Oct 1 (KNN) The Khadi Mark which ensures the purity and genuineness of hand spun and hand woven textiles containing fibers such as cotton, wool and silk was launched by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, ahead of Gandhi Jayanthi.
“The word, ‘Khadi’, has a deep emotional connect with every Indian. It has distinction of being the only cloth used in making our National Flag. It conjures up feelings of national pride. It is one of the most valued contributors of our national heritage,” said the President.
With a remarkable history behind it, including its association with Mahatma Gandhi, Khadi is synonymous with the country’s freedom struggle and is a symbol of self-reliance that can rejuvenate the rural sector.
The President also pointed out that Khadi has over the years, kindled hope for over a million artisan families to rise above deprivation and backwardness. “It remains an important vehicle for the development of rural India. It is way of life for many in our country,” he said.
The Khadi Mark has special significance to the MSME sector. According to an official notification, “The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises notified the Khadi Mark Regulations 2013 in the Gazette of India on 22 July 2013 to ensure the genuineness of Khadi i.e. hand spun and hand woven, containing natural fibers (cotton/wool/silk), produced in India. KVIC is the Nodal Agency to monitor, verify and enforce the genuineness of products being sold as Khadi.”
The Mark is expected to provide a much needed identity to Khadi as an assurance of purity and genuineness to customers to boost its sale, as a part of the ongoing reform measures in the sector to re-invest it in keeping with the changing time.
With the introduction of Khadi Mark, no textile can be sold or otherwise traded by any person or institution as Khadi or Khadi product in any form or manner without it bearing a Khadi Mark tag, sticker or label.
Currently, there are around 2300 Khadi institutions employing over 10.71 lakh Khadi artisans of which 75 per cent are women. Further, Khadi production during 2012-13 has been to the tune of about Rs 762 crore.
The Ministry of MSME has made various efforts to revitalize this sector through a slew of schemes and programmes. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of MSME, K H Muniyappa highlighted key aspects relating to Khadi reforms and Khadi Mark which are in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision.
The Minister added that the Ministry through KVIC at the gross root level provided support for the most needy traditional artisans and entrepreneurs in the rural areas with the help of more than 5000 institutions, and around 2300 of them working for the development of Khadi. Moreover through 2.23 lakh enterprises have been assisted under the Scheme of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) creating employment for around 20.42 lakh persons.
In addition, to harness the potential of Khadi sector in its full capacity “the comprehensive reform package of Rs 717 crore initiated by the Ministry under Khadi Reform and Development Programme (KRDP) funded by Asian Development Bank enables the Khadi sector to compete in the market and participate in the growth trajectory.”
He said that, under the Khadi Reform Development Programme (KRDP) direct assistance to 300 existing Khadi institutions will be extended and 50 new Khadi Institutions will be organized and managed on Entrepreneurship Model and Khadi and village industries have got the potential to provide work without displacing the artisans form their root.
It was also highlighted that the KVI sector comprising of khadi and village industries is so far providing employment to more than 1 crore artisans, entrepreneurs and their families living in rural areas.
Present on the occasion were Secretary, Ministry of MSME Madhav Lal, Chairman (KVIC), Devendrakumar R. Desai, CEO (KVIC) Udai Pratap Singh, and other officials of State Khadi Boards and Khadi institutions across the country.