Prime Minister Narendra Modi has time to time pitched for using khadi products. Recent figures have shown that PM Modi’s push has not gone in vain. So much so, that last year, the industry raked up Rs 50,000 crore in sales for the first time, according to The Times of India report. The data was released by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The list of institutions willing to use these products is expanding too. Recently, it was learned that Khadi products like bed-sheets, dressing towels, surgeon gowns and herbal shampoos will soon make their way into government hospitals across the country. “We are expecting orders worth around Rs 150 crore from government hospitals under the Union Health Ministry spread across the country in the current financial year,” KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told PTI. This is one of the several initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government to revive the once-ailing village industry.
Earlier, PM Modi had said the sale of khadi products had gone up by almost 125 percent since he urged the people to opt for the hand-woven cotton fabric. “I was told that khadi sales increased by almost 125 percent,” Modi said on the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on All India Radio, according to the IANS report. “I urged people to purchase khadi last time. I never said become khadiwadi but I said buy some khadi. There was an increase in khadi (sales),” he added. KVIC Chief Executive Officer Arun Kumar Jha told IANS PM Modi’s appeal had provided a much-needed fillip to khadi.
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But khadi’s growth also has had its share of controversy. Recently, Khadi India threatened to sue Fabindia, a chain of ethnic wear retail outlets, for allegedly indulging in “unfair trade practice” by using and selling its cotton products unauthorisedly under its registered brand name “Khadi”. Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has sent a legal notice to Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd asking it to immediately stop using Khadi word from all its cotton products and remove display banners from its showrooms immediately alleging that Khadi India’s brand name was unlawfully used to mislead and confuse the consumers, according to PTI report.
Soon after that Fabindia started removing the brand name ‘Khadi’ it uses to promote its cotton products after a legal notice by Khadi India that the use of the word amounted to “unfair trade practice” and misusing its trade name.
A few days ago, Union minister Kalraj Mishra had said that involvement of people through the khadi industry could even help uproot terrorism. “Enthused with the massive response to the first ever national exhibition organised by the KVIC in Jammu and Kashmir last year, Union minister Kalraj Mishra said the involvement of people through khadi could uproot terrorism,” the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) said in a statement.