New Delhi: Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Nitin Gadkari, launched in New Delhi yesterday the sale of Khadi Rumal in the presence of VK Saxena, Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Struggling to sustain their existence, families of militancy affected areas of Kashmir shifted to Nagrota, a small town near Jammu, a few years ago. In 2016, KVIC started a napkin stitching centre in Nagrota for women impacted by the lack of livelihood opportunities and unemployment to help them become independent and sustain their families.
Speaking about the initiative, Nitin Gadkari said, “This initiative of KVIC is the true reflection of Bapu’s (Mahatma Gandhi’s) vision of empowering the weakest in society, and an appeal to the people to support this unique initiative which is creating jobs for the needy.”
Chairman of KVIC, VK Saxena, said, “This ‘Khadi Rumal’ is not just a piece of cloth, but a symbol of trust that the women in militancy affected areas residing in Nagrota have in the people of India to enable them and empower them to live a life of dignity and respect. The sale of this ‘Khadi Rumal’ will instill confidence and enable women all over Kashmir to stand for themselves, earn a respectful livelihood, and take care of their families. Its time for India to unite and help the cause.”
Saxena added, “We have targeted to sell 5 crore pieces of Khadi Rumal initially. To create 5 crore pieces of Khadi Rumal, around 15 lakh kg of cotton will be consumed, and will require 25 lakh man-days of spinning, 12.5 lakh man-days of weaving, and around 7.5 lakh man-days for cutting, stitching and packing the Rumal; thus creating 44 lakh man-days of livelihood, yielding wages amounting to Rs. 88 crores for various artisans.”
“A humble contribution of the citizens of India could be a stepping stone for the beginning of the ‘Journey of Transformation’. It is an opportunity where every Indian citizen can be a part of nation building, a part of empowering the women artisans of Nagrota, and all those women of Kashmir too, who are still in line and looking forward to joining this journey. This shall be the real tribute to Bapu on his 150th birth anniversary,” Saxena said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already appealed to people to buy at least one Khadi Rumal. The white Khadi Rumal, made of pure cotton, will be sold across various Khadi outlets in India, and to increase the outreach and availability of these Rumals through digital platforms, KVIC has also signed an agreement with Paytm, which has committed to selling 2 crore packets of Khadi Rumal through its online and offline platforms and mobile application.
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