Varanasi (UP): Union Minister of State for MSME Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma inaugurated a state-of-the-art Khadi exhibition displaying exquisite handcrafted products from 20 Indian states in Varanasi. KVIC also organized a “Khadi Kareegar Sammelan” (Khadi artisans’ conference), which was attended by over 2000 Khadi artisans, mostly women, from Varanasi and 12 adjoining districts like Prayagraj, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Ghazipur, Sonbhadra, etc.
A total of 105 stalls have been set up by Khadi Institutions from states like Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Leh-Ladakh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal and others. A number of Khadi institutions, PMEGP units and several SFURTI clusters from various states have also set up their stalls.
A range of exquisite Khadi products including the premium High Altitude Honey from Jammu & Kashmir, a wide variety of Kashmiri and Rajasthani woolen shawls, Muslin fabric from West Bengal, a variety of silk fabric from West Bengal and Bihar, Koti Shawls from Punjab, leather products from Kanpur, terracotta pottery from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the widely acclaimed hand-knotted carpets of Mirzapur and Prayagraj are the biggest attractions in the exhibition. This is the second such exhibition organized by KVIC in Varanasi since the Covid-19 lockdown.
MoS Shri Verma lauded KVIC for organizing the Khadi exhibition and Khadi kareegar Sammelan saying this aimed at strengthening the artisans. He said, in the last few years, Varanasi has emerged as a hub of various Khadi activities. Almost all rural and traditional arts like spinning, weaving, beekeeping and pottery have been promoted on a large scale here, that has created self-employment for the artisans and made them aatmanirbhar. He said, this exhibition will also provide these artisans a big platform to market their products and enhance their income.
KVIC Chairman Shri Saxena said the state level Khadi exhibition at Varanasi was a manifestation of Khadi artisans’ commitment for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. He said, KVIC has set up a large number of Khadi Institutions, PMEGP units and SFURI clusters to strengthen the traditional arts and empower the local artisans. He added that this exhibition will be a big boost for the ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative and also promote Khadi.
Notably, Varanasi which is also the Parliamentary Constituency of the Prime Minister, has rolled out a number of activities to promote Khadi and support the artisans. As any as 134 Khadi Institutions are currently working in Varanasi where women comprise nearly 80% of the total workforce.