Mala Devi of Chaurath village in Sitamarhi district is an expert in Madhubani painting and she travelled from Sitamarhi in Bihar to New Delhi to participate in Khadi Utsav- an exhibition organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission ( KVIC). The Utsav, which kicked off in New Delhi Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan, for the first time displays several Khadi products with Madhubani paintings printed on them. Khadi products with famous Madhubani paintings by veteran village artist of Mithila region have become a centre of attraction.
Showing her brilliant artistic works of Madhubani painting, Mala Devi said, “ We paint with several designs. We think of a theme, be it related to religious ceremonies or subjects concerning marriage function or any domestic chores, and accordingly paint with hands.”
“Beauty of Madhubani paintings is you just think a design and proceed to paint. That makes them realistic even if themes are religious,” she added.
Visitors to her stall at the exhibition were equally enthusiastic. “ I visit Khadi Bhawan every year on Gandhi Jayanti to buy some Khadi with heavy discounts. I am pleasantly surprised to see Khadi products like Saree with Madhubani paintings printed on them,” said Sanjay Tiwari a Delhi-based Charted Accountant by profession who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar.
Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), who inaugurated the Utsav on Gandhi Jayanti, said that Khadi is able to compete in today’s global marketplace and to realize the vision of Gram Swaraj, it is necessary to develop Village industries. He emphasised that Khadi needs to be promoted at village level and exhibitions should be organized in every district of the country.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed people to purchase Khadi and this pushed sales by 30 percent at Khadi outlets across the country. As per KVIC data, overall Khadi has witnessed over 30 percent growth in sales in the current fiscal compared to previous year.
Arun Kumar Jha, CEO and Commissioner KVIC said that the objective of “Khadi Utsav” is to revive the dormant Khadi production in Madhubani region which was famous for its sophistication and fineness, as well as to rejuvenate various the artists, who are generally working as ‘Job Workers’ now.”
“In the Exhibition which has been setup, the products comprising Khadi sarees, dress material and other ethnic products with Madhubani paintings would be a delight for the connoisseur of fabrics and fine art,” he added.
In addition, enterprises set up under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme(PMEGP) of the Ministry are also displaying products at the exhibition.
Sharing her long experience and association with Khadi, Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament said that on several occasion she appealed to the people specially women to wear Khadi Saree. “ This year I would request all women MPs to wear Khadi Saree,” she said.
Attired in a long Khadi kurta, Anup K Pujari, Secretary, MSME said, in 70’s and 80’s Gandhi Jayanti was very important for us because it is the day when you get Khadi at a very discounted rate. Khadi Bhawan witnessed unprecedented foot-fall on Gandhi Jayanti this year and a 25 percent discount offered by KVIC attracted majority of them. Price conscious Khadi lovers of Delhi have many reasons to smile this year as apart from customary discount, there are a range of new varieties such as products with Madhubani paintings.