Indian Railways procured Khadi goods worth Rs 7.42 crore in July and August while it purchased Khadi products worth Rs 13.01 crore in October and November, the statement said.
Khadi. Representational image
Amid COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Khadi activities got a major push with a huge purchase order worth Rs 48.90 crore from the Indian Railways. The railways purchased Khadi goods worth Rs 8.48 crore in December 2020 alone, substantially creating employment and income for Khadi artisans during the testing times of Covid-19, the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises said in a statement today.
According to the statement, the purchase orders from Indian Railways directly benefited artisans registered with 82 Khadi Institutions across the country that are engaged in production of material like sheeting cloth, towels, bed sheet, flag banner, sponge clothes, Dosuti Cotton Khadi, bunting clothes and others.
During May 2020 and 21st December 2020, Indian Railways procured Khadi material worth Rs 48.90 crore, keeping the Khadi activities going during the pandemic. The Indian Railways purchased goods worth Rs 19.80 crore from Khadi in May and June when the economy had taken a severe hit due to lockdown.
Also, railways procured Khadi goods worth Rs 7.42 crore in July and August while it purchased Khadi products worth Rs 13.01 crore in October and November, the statement said.
Commenting on Railways’ purchase order during the pandemic, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said, “During the pandemic, KVIC faced the biggest challenge of sustaining employment and livelihood of the artisans. While KVIC engaged its artisans in making Khadi masks during the pandemic; it simultaneously received bulk orders from the railways too that kept Khadi’s spinning wheel on the move. This meant additional employment and income for the artisans which helped them overcome the financial distress and support the country’s economy.”
Railways have designated 400 railway stations where only earthenware is used for selling food and beverages to passengers, giving a boost to the potters trained by KVIC under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana.