Gorakhpur, Oct.2 : Charkha, the spinning wheel propagated by Mahatma Gandhi which has been a symbol of freedom movement, has no takers today, with weavers drifting to take to modern methods of weaving yarn.
With automation being the key link in almost all economic activities, weavers in Gorakhpur region, who earlier relied on Charkha for their livelihood, admit that it has no relevance today.
"In Gorakhpur, about 100 families are dependent on the profession of making thread from the Charkha. Because of the technical advancement, they are not able to get much of work, and whatsoever little work they do, they get little money for it. In such a scenario those engaged in handloom industry are trying to explore job opportunities elsewhere and quitting this profession," said Mohammed Aslam Ansari, Convenor, Bunkar Action Committee.
"Gandhiji wanted to emancipate Indians by inculcating self-reliant practices in them. That was the reason why he came up with the use of Charkha but in today's time machines have taken over the Charkha," said Fashat, a Charkha worker.
Charkha was the backbone of the cottage industry that was promoted by Gandhiji during the British rule but today, it hardly fetches one the minimum income needed for sustenance.
"We work for seven hours a day but get just rupees 12 a day. This money is too less in the present day when the cost of every item is surging so high. We make cotton thread from Charkha, and after making almost 40 bundles of it in a day, we hardly manage rupees 12," noted Sayeeda, a Charkha worker.
Despite the technical advancement in every other field, it is worthwhile to note that there are still many families in Gorakhpur who have kept alive the legacy Charkha and all that they need is suitable reward for their work. By Pawan Kumar Shah