Address by Governor at the flagging off the Maha Khadi Protsahan Yatra
Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the flagging off the Maha Khadi Protsahan Yatra at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 10.00 am on Monday, 9th October 2017
Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Hon’ble Minister of Forest, Planning and Finance, Shri Pravin Pote Patil, Minister of State, Shri Vishal Choradia, Chairman, Maharashtra State Khadi & Village Industries Board, Shri Jayawant Matkar, Adhyaksh, Sevagram Ashram, Wardha, Shri Sunil Porwal, Additional Chief Secretary, Planning, Shri Pravin Pardeshi, Additional Chief Secretary, CMO, other senior government officials and officials of the Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset I extend a very warm welcome to each one of you to Raj Bhavan.
I am indeed very happy to associate myself with the launch and flagging off of the Maha Khadi Yatra from Raj Bhavan this morning.
This is by far, the biggest Maha Khadi Yatra I am witnessing in Maharashtra, and I would like to convey my sincere appreciation and compliments to the Government of Maharashtra, to the Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board and its Chairman Shri Vishal Choradia for conceiving the Yatra.
I am pleased to note that the 75 – day long Maha Khadi Yatra will be travelling to 20 districts of Maharashtra where exhibitions and awareness campaigns will be held for the benefit of the people.
For many years, we remembered ‘Khadi’ only on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Khadi and Village Industries Board and other Khadi Outlets announced their annual rebate on Khadi and village products. Very few people actually visited Khadi shops to avail of these special discounts.
I am happy that for the first time, through the Maha Khadi Yatra, the Khadi and village products will be taken to villages, towns and cities of Maharashtra, which is a welcome change.
I understand that Maha Khadi festival will educate and inform people about various schemes implemented by the state and central governments such as the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, Bee Keeping, Revival of Rural Arts and so on. I have no doubt in my mind that the Maha Khadi Yatra will prove to be the Yatra of Empowerment of Rural Masses.
Every year, I attend the ‘Mahalakshmi Saras’ Exhibition which is held generally in the month of December and January. The Exhibition is organized by the Rural Development Department. Rural artisans and women’s self help groups from across the State put up their stalls. Food items, agricultural products and village products made by rural artisans and women are displayed and sold at the Exhibition. I would urge the Maharashtra State Khadi Board to explore the possibility of holding joint exhibition in association with the Rural Development Department in all the districts.
The Maha Khadi festival will act as a nucleus for organizing and showcasing various economic activities which will eventually benefit artisans, weavers and rural people.
Sisters and brothers,
At the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress held in 1920, it was decided that Khadi should be promoted and encouraged as a fabric of the masses. The purpose was two-fold. To promote village industry and to boycott foreign goods.
Thanks to the personal endorsement of Mahatma Gandhi, Khadi became the ‘livery of freedom’ and a rallying point for our fight for Swaraj.
Subsequently, Khadi became an ideology and a philosophy. It became a political weapon for giving expression to the Swadeshi Movement. That is the power of a humble fabric like Khadi.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been striving hard to promote Khadi. In his recent Mann Ki Baat, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had said, “Khadi is not merely a Vastra, it is a Vichar”. He has urged people to stop exchanging bouquets with each other and instead gift objects made of ‘khadi’ to provide employment to a large number of people.
I think it would be a nice idea to present Khadi or village products to visiting dignitaries to Maharashtra.
In the 21st Century, when fashion has become a global industry, India has the power and potential to make Khadi a global brand in clothing.
I do feel that Maharashtra should take the lead in organizing the First Global Khadi and Village Product Festival in the State. I am sure, such a Global Festival will attract global attention and will enrich and empower our weavers and artisans.
I wish and hope that the Maha Khadi Yatra will connect people across the State and draw thumping response from Khadi lovers. Once again I congratulate the Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industry Board for its excellent initiative and wish the Yatra grand success.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!