A range of exquisite Khadi products including the premium high altitude honey from Jammu & Kashmir, handcrafted silk, cotton and woolen clothes and herbal medicines have been put to display at the state level Khadi Exhibition in Varanasi organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The exhibition was inaugurated Sunday by KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena. Hundreds of Khadi artisans from eight states – Uttar Pradesh, J&K, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Punjab – have set up 90 stalls in the exhibition, the second such event organised by KVIC since the COVID-19 lockdown. The exhibition will continue for 15 days, i.e. from November 22 to December 7, 2020. In October this year, the first Khadi exhibition after the lockdown was organised in Lucknow.
A number of Khadi institutions and PMEGP (Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme) units from Jammu & Kashmir with products like high altitude honey, Kashmiri woolen and shawls have been a major attraction at the exhibition. Apart from Kashmir, high altitude honey from Uttarakhand is also attracting a large number of customers who otherwise do not easily find this honey in Varanasi. Owing to its premium quality and taste, high altitude honey is immensely popular across the country. Prime Minister too has urged beekeepers to increase the production of high altitude honey which has a huge global demand. KVIC has distributed thousands of bee boxes in high altitude areas of Kashmir to local youths that has increased honey production in the union territory.
A number of fine products like Muslin fabric from West Bengal, Pashmina shawls and woolens from J&K, Koti shawls from Punjab, leather products from Kanpur, terracotta pottery from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and pickles, murabba and herbal medicine from Rajasthan are the major attractions. A variety of silk and cotton fabric and ready-made clothes from Bihar and Punjab too have been put on exhibition. A special discount of 30 percent is being offered on Khadi fabric and ready-made clothes during the exhibition.
Inaugurating the exhibition on Sunday, Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission said, the state level Khadi exhibition at Varanasi was Khadi artisans’ stride towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” who kept the Charkha spinning during the difficult times to overcome the financial distress. “This exhibition is a unique platform where people in Varanasi and adjoining areas can buy handmade Khadi products from states like J&K, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Punjab, Uttarakhand and others. This will be a big boost for the ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative and also promote Khadi,” Saxena said.
Varanasi has rolled out a number of activities to promote Khadi and support the artisans. As many as 134 Khadi institutions are currently working in Varanasi where women comprise nearly 80 percent of the total workforce.