Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu launches ‘Khadi India Quiz Contest’

New Delhi: The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today appealed to the citizens to treat khadi as ‘National Fabric’ and promote its use extensively. Shri Naidu called upon celebrities from various fields to come forward and promote the use of Khadi in a big way.

The Vice President was speaking at the launch of ‘Khadi India Quiz Contest’ organized as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

Urging everyone to take part in the ‘Khadi India Quiz Contest’, he said, the contest was an interesting way of taking us back to our roots as it recollects the historic moments of our freedom struggle and the unparalleled contribution of our great freedom fighters.

Recalling his visit to Dandi on April 6th this year to attend the concluding ceremony of the ceremonial ‘Dandi March’ organised as part of ‘Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Vice President said that interacting with the marchers who had participated in the ceremonial Dandi March gave him an opportunity to relive the moments of India’s past glory and termed it as “a very enriching experience”.

Describing India’s freedom struggle as a saga of bravery, resilience and devout patriotism, the Vice President mentioned how the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi galvanized the masses across the length and breadth of the country in the fight against colonial rule. Observing that men and women from all sections and all hues participated in the freedom struggle, he said “It indeed was an unparalleled phenomenon in the annals of human history”.

Recalling the supreme sacrifice of our freedom fighters, the Vice President mentioned that freedom fighters like Matangini Hazra, Bhagat Singh, Pritilata Waddedar, Rajguru, Sukhdev and thousands of others, did not think twice before sacrificing their lives to realize their common dream of a free nation. He said, “These valorous men and women made paramount sacrifices despite knowing that they would not be alive to see their dream turn into a reality.”

He said that our freedom struggle was a journey of resilience and hope “which inspires us to keep moving no matter how adverse the situation gets”. He said that there was much to learn from our freedom fighters, especially the spirit of keeping the interests of our motherland ahead of everything else.

Shri Naidu expressed his happiness over the phenomenal turnaround of Khadi in the last 7 years and lauded the government, KVIC and all the stakeholders for accelerating the growth. “I am happy to note that KVIC has succeeded in establishing a pan-India reach and has connected people with sustainable self-employment activities even in the remotest corners of the country,” he added.

The Vice President recalled the historical relevance of Khadi and said it was a binding force for the masses during the freedom movement. Shri Naidu mentioned how Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1918 started the Khadi movement to generate a source of income for the poverty-stricken masses and later turned it into a powerful symbolic tool against foreign rule.

Referring to the environmental benefits of Khadi, the Vice President mentioned that Khadi has zero carbon footprint as it does not require electricity or any kind of fuel for its manufacturing. He said, “At a time when the world is looking for sustainable alternatives in clothing, it should be remembered that Khadi as an eco-friendly and sustainable fabric certainly meets the requirement.”

The Vice President called upon educational institutions to explore using Khadi for uniforms. He said that it will not only give students an opportunity to experience the many benefits of Khadi but will also help them connect with our great freedom fighters and freedom movement. “Due to its porous texture, Khadi is eminently suitable for our local climatic conditions,” he added. He appealed to the youth to make Khadi a fashion statement and promote its use among everyone with passion.

Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Narayan Rane, Minister of State for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Secretary, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri BB Swain and others were present during the event.

Following is the full text of the speech:

“Dear sisters and brothers ,

I am extremely happy to be launching the ‘Khadi India Quiz Contest’ a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the 75-week long “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence. In the ongoing “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” festival, we as a country are celebrating the rapid strides our great nation has taken in the past 75 years.

On April 6th this year, I attended the concluding ceremony of the ceremonial ‘Dandi March’ organised as part of ‘Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at Dandi. On that occasion, I interacted with the marchers who had participated in the ceremonial Dandi March and got an opportunity to relive the moments of our past glory. It was indeed a very enriching experience.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Our freedom movement is a saga of bravery, resilience and devout patriotism. The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi galvanized the masses across the length and breadth of the nation in the fight against colonial rule. Many other leaders and the nationalist press at that time played a stellar role in arousing patriotism and mobilizing the people to rebel against an alien rule. Men and women from all sections and all hues participated in the freedom struggle. It indeed was an unparalleled phenomenon in the annals of human history.

A common, transcendent emotion of love for the motherland binds us all when we recall the glorious chapters of our freedom movement. We must all revisit our magnificent past by informing ourselves of the immeasurable sacrifices made by our national icons to free the country from the colonial yoke and also by visiting places of historical importance.

Many a time, freedom fighters had to face inhuman, cruel and harsh treatment at the hands of the Britishers. Hundreds of them were exiled to ‘Kaala Pani’ and subjected to torture in savage prison conditions. However, the British could neither crush their indomitable spirit nor their determination to achieve their ultimate goal of attaining freedom to India.

Freedom fighters like Matangini Hazra, Bhagat Singh, Pritilata Waddedar, Rajguru, Sukhdev and thousands of others, did not think twice before sacrificing their lives to realize their common dream of a free nation. These valorous men and women made paramount sacrifices despite knowing that they would not be alive to see their dream turn into a reality.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Our freedom struggle was a journey of resilience and hope, which inspires us to keep moving no matter how adverse the situation gets. It was also a journey of unmatched unity, where people from all corners of our country came together with a singular resolve—to make the British quit India.

There is so much to learn from our freedom fighters, especially the spirit of keeping the interests of our motherland ahead of everything else.

Dear sisters and brothers,

During our freedom movement, slogans like ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ or objects like ‘Charkha’, ‘Rakhi’, ‘Salt’ or ‘Khadi’ acted as a binding force for the masses.

In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi Ji started the Khadi movement to generate a source of income for the poverty-stricken masses living in the rural areas, and from then began the wonderful era of Khadi.

‘Khadar’ or ‘Khadi’ as it is popularly called, is a cloth that is hand-spun and hand-woven. Gandhiji had foreseen the great potential Khadi had; he believed that Khadi could be a powerful, symbolic tool against foreign rule and an effective instrument in the reconstruction of society.

Gandhi Ji once said, and I quote, “I am a salesman of Swaraj. I am a devotee of khadi. It is my duty to induce people, by every honest means, to wear khadi.”

Dear sister and brothers,

Apart from its prominent role in our freedom struggle, Khadi has many positive aspects that make it stand apart from the rest of the fabrics. Due to its porous texture, Khadi is eminently suitable for our local climatic conditions.

At a time when the world is looking for sustainable alternatives in clothing, it should be remembered that Khadi as an eco-friendly and sustainable fabric certainly meets the requirement. It also has zero carbon footprint as it does not require electricity or any kind of fuel for its manufacturing. The water consumption for manufacturing Khadi is extremely low when compared to other fabrics produced by mills.

Adopting Khadi extensively is the need of the hour. I appeal to the people to treat Khadi as a ‘National Fabric’ and promote its use extensively. I would also like to call upon celebrities in various fields to come forward and promote Khadi in a big way.

I feel educational institutions must explore using Khadi in school uniforms. This will not only give students an opportunity to experience the many benefits of Khadi but will also help them connect with our great freedom fighters and freedom movement.

Dear sisters and brothers,

I am told that during the last 7 years, Khadi has undergone a phenomenal turnaround. The production of Khadi and Village Industries has recorded a growth of 133.36 %, while sales have gone up by 188.85%. These are remarkable achievements and I laud the government, KVIC and all those involved in accelerating this phenomenal growth.

I am happy to note that KVIC has succeeded in establishing a pan-India reach and has connected people with sustainable self-employment activities even in the remotest corners of the country.

It gives me immense joy to note that for the past many years, Khadi has emerged as a potential employment creator in rural India. The schemes and programs of KVIC have emphasized empowering the marginalized sections of society like the potters, Adivasis and unemployed youths, among others. A host of programs like Khadi Gramodyog Vikas Yojana, Khadi Reforms and Development Programme, Honey Mission, Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, Leather Artisans’ Empowerment Program and Prime Minister’s Employment Generation program have brought about a sea change in the lives of the needy. The multipronged approach to give the Khadi sector a boost will surely ensure a bright and prosperous future for it.

Dear sisters and brothers,

It is very important to stay connected to our roots and our rich history. ‘Khadi India Quiz Contest’ curated by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission is a very interesting way of taking us back to our roots as it recollects the historic moments of our freedom struggle and the unparalleled contribution of our great freedom fighters in realizing the dream of self-rule for India. This Quiz Contest also seeks to create awareness on Khadi’s multi-dimensional approach in fostering rural economic growth and realizing Gandhi Ji’s dream of “Rural Resurgence” or Gramoday.

I am told that the questions have been structured to create awareness among the present generation not only about the important historic events and the supreme sacrifices of our freedom fighters, but also on the instrumental role Khadi played in the Swadeshi movement and its contribution to nation-building from the pre-independence era to the present day. I think everyone should participate in this quiz contest and learn about our glorious past.

My best wishes to the organizers for the success of this 15-Day long campaign and good luck to the participants. I would like to conclude with this bit of advice—participation in this competition is important; you do not lose, you either win or you learn. So give your best and enjoy the competition.

Jai Hind!”

 

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