New Delhi: Last year Covid-19 was affected to a large extent due to the lockdown, but Khadi activities were also boosted last year by a large purchase order worth Rs 48.90 crore received from Indian Railways. While the Railways procured Khadi goods worth Rs 8.48 crore only in December 2020, it created a substantial amount of employment and income for Khadi artisans during the challenging times of Covid-19.
The purchase order from Indian Railways directly benefited the artisans registered with 82 Khadi institutions across the country, who are involved in the production of bed sheets, towels, flag banners, sponge fabrics, dosuti cotton khadi, bunting cloths and other materials.
Indian Railways procured Khadi materials worth Rs 48.90 crore during the period from May 2020 to December 2020 (till 21 December), which kept the Khadi activities dynamic during the epidemic. Interestingly, Indian Railways procured goods worth Rs 19.80 crore from Khadi in the months of May and June when the lockdown caused severe damage to the economy. Similarly, Railways procured Khadi items worth Rs 7.42 crore during July and August, while it purchased Khadi products worth Rs 13.01 crore during the months of October and November.
KVIC President Vinay Kumar Saxena thanked the Honorable Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for assisting the Khadi artisans through placing large orders to KVIC. Mr. Saxena said, “During the epidemic, KVIC faced the biggest challenge to maintain the employment and livelihood of artisans. Where KVIC engaged its artisans in making Khadi masks during the epidemic; It also received bulk orders from the railways, which led to the spinning wheel of Khadi. This resulted in additional employment and income for the artisans, which helped them recover from the financial crisis and support the country’s economy. ”
In addition to helping Khadi through direct procurement, Railways have also implemented several policy decisions to strengthen Khadi artisans. As such a step, the Railways have designated 400 railway stations where only pottery is used to sell food and beverages to the passengers and thus potter trained by KVIC under the potter empowerment scheme Gets a lot of boost. The Ministry of Railways is in the process of notifying the other 100 railway stations as “plastic-free stations”.