The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the Khadi Mark here today. The Mark is expected to provide a much needed identity to the 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.
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.
Speaking at the occasion the President said that he was pleased to launch the Khadi Mark. 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. Khadi has an admirable history behind it. It is synonymous with our freedom struggle. Both as a symbol of self reliance and a credible instrument for rejuvenation of the rural sector, Khadi instantly brings to our minds its profound association with Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of this nation.
The President further added 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. There are at present around 10.45 lakh Khadi artisans of which seventy per cent are women. The Khadi industry has boundless potentiality. The President expressed his happiness on the efforts made by the Ministry of MSME to revitalize this sector through a slew of schemes and programmes.
The President said that Khadi Mark is a novel initiative and it will indicate the quality and genuineness of a Khadi product. It will provide a distinct identity for positioning and brand building in the domestic and international textile markets.
Highlighting the key aspects relating to Khadi reforms and Khadi Mark Shri K. H. Muniyappa Minister of State (I/C), MSME said that to augment the vision of Mahatma Gandhi in line with “Swadeshi Movement” and “Gram Swarajya”, the Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) was established in 1956 under the KVIC Act. There are around 2300 Khadi Institutions all across the country involved in the propagation of Khadi, providing employment opportunities to over 10.71 lakh artisans mostly women, to earn their livelihood. The Minister was pleased to announce that Khadi production during the last financial year 2012-13 has been to a tune of about Rs.762 crore in terms of value.
The Minister stated that “According to Gandhiji “Har haat ko kaam – har karigar ko samman” and Khadi and village industries have got the potential to provide work without displacing the artisans from their root.
The Minister stated that Khadi signifies purity, self reliance, dignity of labour, swadeshi, and non-violence. Charkha symbolizes growth and development.
The Minister further highlighted the role and importance of Khadi sector in India and said “Government is supporting implementation of Khadi programme throughout the country and it is now considered as a potential tool for generating employment at the door steps of rural artisans with extremely low capital investment”.
The Minister said that the primary objectives and benefits of introducing Khadi Mark is to create a distinct identity of Khadi, to guarantee the genuineness of Khadi, to improve customer/consumer awareness and to increase popularity of Khadi.
The Minister added that the Ministry of MSME through KVIC at the gross root level 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 assisted under the Scheme of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) creating employment for around 20.42 lakh persons. To harness the potential of Khadi sector in its full capacity it was underlined that “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”.
The Minister emphasized 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 Shri Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Shri Devendrakumar R. Desai, Chairman (KVIC), Shri Udai Pratap Singh, CEO (KVIC) and various Chairmen’s of State Khadi Boards and representatives of Khadi institutions from all across the country.