New Delhi: With khadi-clad political leaders out on the general elections campaign trail, the Khadi Gram Udyog outlets are doing brisk business as sales have picked up as much as 25% in March.
Khadi Bhawan, the flagship store of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), has reported a sharp rise in business totalling Rs1.60 crore in the first three weeks of March.
“Demand for khadi products has picked up after announcement of general elections. During March, there is an increase in retail sales to the tune of 25% as compared to the corresponding period in 2008,” KVIC Director S.P. Singh said.
“Along with the trade mark dress of political workers and leaders, demand for the national flag has also gone up by around 5%,” Singh said, adding that KVIC will accept fresh orders from the parties.
The KVIC procures the hand-spun fabric from artisans across the country. “Different states have different varieties,” he said.
While khadi silk is sourced from West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and North Eastern states, khadi cotton comes from Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
Artisans in Gujarat and Rajasthan spin khadi poly and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are known for the woolen variety.
The first phase of elections for the 15th Lok Sabha will be held on 16 April to be followed by four other phases up to 13 May.
Khadi was launched in 1920 as a political weapon in the Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhi. It was treated as the best instrument for giving concrete expression to the Swadeshi spirit to boycott foreign goods.
The first production centre was established at Katiawad, Gujarat. Mahatma Gandhi used to refer to Khadi as “The livery of freedom”.