Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday continued to urge people to “exercise patience, observe constraint” amid Covid, he also requested them to give priority to Made in India goods while shopping this festive season. In his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat, Modi said “when you go shopping, do remember our resolve of ‘Vocal for Local’. While purchasing items from the market, we have to accord priority to local products.” He also highlighted the rising prominence of khadi outside India. “Not only is the popularity of khadi rising it is also being produced in many places of the world.,” he added.
For instance, villages in the Mexican city Oaxaca where the local villagers weave khadi. Modi narrated how a local resident Mark Brown visited India watching a movie on Mahatma Gandhi and learned about khadi and the way it is intertwined with rural economy and self-sufficiency. “He introduced the villagers of Oaxaca in Mexico to khadi and trained them. And now Oaxaca khadi has become a brand,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister informed that on Gandhi Jayanti this year, the khadi store in Delhi’s Connaught Place saw purchases of more than Rs 1 crore. The fabric also gained popularity amid Corona with “self-help groups and other such institutions are making khadi masks in many places of the country.” KVIC had last week introduced khadi fabric footwear, launched by MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, underscoring its potential to capture the international market, generate additional employment, and higher income for khadi artisans. “By developing and marketing such products overseas, Khadi India can capture a market worth Rs 5,000 crore,” Gadkari had said urging KVIC to develop alternatives to leather accessories including ladies’ handbags, purse, wallet in handcrafted Khadi fabric.
Modi also touched upon the significance of technology adoption in enabling self-help groups and farmer producer organisations to sell directly to consumers. For example, a Jharkhand based self-help group of women, which was able to deliver vegetables and fruits to households directly from farmers, through an app called Ajivika Farm Fresh. Goods worth over Rs 50 lakh have been delivered by the group during the lockdown.