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Bihar khadi board tells bureaucrats, other govt staff to wear swadeshi fabric twice a week 

The Bihar State Khadi and Village Industries Board has also requested authorities in government departments and district magistrates to use khadi or handloom upholstery in their offices, circuit houses and guesthouses .

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 14:49 IST
Reena Sopam
Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Patna
Khadi,Bihar khadi board,Mahatama Gandhi
The move of the Bihar khadi board is expected to give a boost to the swadeshi fabric in the state. (HT file photo)

Government employees , including IAS officers, in Bihar have been requested to wear khadi attire at least twice a week.

The request comes from the Bihar State Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) in its initiative to promote khadi, considered to be Mahatama Gandhi’s swadeshi (indigenous) weapon of political protest. The state is celebrating the centenary year of Champaran satyagraha this year.

The board, a unit of Bihar’s industry department, has requested authorities in government offices and district magistrates to ensure that all employees turn up at their workplace in khadi, at least twice a week.

It has also requested them to use khadi or handloom upholstery in government offices, circuit houses and guesthouses.

“As part of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s initiative to boost khadi and handloom industry, we have also requested DMs to ensure use of the swadeshi fabric in all its offices and government schools,” KVIB chief executive officer (CEO) BN Prasad said.

“The rider attached with it is that the khadi fabric will have to be purchased only from KVIB-approved outlets or the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC - under the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises),” Prasad added.

Some bureaucrats and employees had begun coming to office in khadi on Fridays, he said. “But we want all IAS officers, state service officers and employees to come to office in khadi for at least two days in a week,” Prasad added.

“The initiative can be enforced only when the government approves a khadi policy,” he said, adding that the fabric needed this kind of promotion to survive and sustain. “There are hardly five khadi board production-cum-sale outlets in the region, including the one near Gandhi Maidan in the state capital. Others are at Gaya, Bhagalpur, Chapra and Ara,” he said.

“However, the region has many private outlets. Altogether 84 such outlets are approved either by the KVIB or the KVIC and are sustaining nearly 6,000 artisans of the region. With the support of KVIB, these outlets did a business of Rs 1.75 crore in 2016, while it had a turnover of hardly Rs 1 crore in 2014,” he said.

Bihar State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Limited chairman Naquib Ahmad said the use of handloom and khadi in government offices would boost the industry.

Handloom weavers had been waiting for this kind of support and promotion for long, he said.

“Though the weavers at Baswan Bigaha village in Nalanda district have traditionally been creating Baawan Booti curtains, which carry 52 varieties of motifs, mass production of drapes for plush offices will generate new energy among weavers,” Ahmad added.

“We will also rope in designers from the National Institute of Fashion Technology to create some new patterns to suit the mood and ambience,” he said.

“Despite many traditional weavers shifting to powerloom, we still have nearly 5,000 handlooms active in our state,” he said.

Ahmad said a brand name, Bishcotex, had already been christened to promote handloom products.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 14:49 IST