Followers of Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati apprehend closure of a khadi store

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Ahmedabad, Sept 4 : Followers of Mahatma Gandhi have expressed fears of closure of Khadi production and sale center near Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram.

The reported decision to shutdown India's biggest wholesale Khadi Vastragar Bhandar (KVB) has shocked many Gandhians.

Khadi commission, which is under the Central Government, is said to have ordered closure of Khadi Gram Udhyog Vastragar.

There are only two major Khadi Vastragars in the country. One is in Ahmedabad and another is in Bhubaneshwar, which stock Khadi products brought from various parts of the country and sell it to small units and khadi bhandars at wholesale rates.

The issue was highlighted by a Gandhian Janesh Badhiya, President of Gandhi Ashram Yuvak Sanghathan after noticing a tender advertisement in the local dailies, issued by KVB.

Badhiya said that Khadi is a synonym for Gujarat and this will have an adverse impact on the cottage industry too.

"I don't know the exact percentage of weavers who will be affected by the closure of the Sabarmati Khadi clothes manufacturing unit. But I know for sure that the number will be large as the most of the poor wavers are associated with it. Poor weavers will be at a loss if it is closed," said Badhiya. He also argued that there are many centrally governed projects, which are being run despite incurring frequent losses. adhiya added that if the decision is not revoked, Gandhians would protest in a Gandhian way to save the dream of Gandhi.

The authorities at the KVB center in Ahmedabad refused to comment on directives issued by Mumbai office a week ago, which ordered the shutdown the center by the end of this month.

However, some self-reliant Khadi bhandars like Gramodhyog Gandhihaatastragar are unaffected with the decision. They are working independent of he Khadi Commission for decades and have a huge network of their own in various parts of the country. alyansinh Rathod, Manager of Gramodhyog Gandhihat Vastragar said, "The decision to close KVB will not affect the institution of Khadi. In fact, like them, we also have our own manufacturing system. They must have been running in loses, therefore, the decision of closure." By Ami Sharma

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