SIDHI providing a hope for the revival of Endangered Himalayan Khadi

The mission of khadi is not merely to supply the townspeople with fashionable khadi that will vie with the mill manufacturers and thus like other industries supply a few artisans with employment, but it is to become a supplementary industry to agriculture. This mission still remains unfulfilled. In order that it may fulfill this mission, it has to be self-sustained and its use must spread in the villages. Just as the villagers cook their own roti or rice, so must they make their own khadi for personal use. The surplus, if any, they may sell. Mahatma Gandhi.

khadi.jpgI believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel. Mahatma Gandhi

Much before machine -made yarn and fabric was invented, hand spinning and hand weaving, was the only way to make cloths. Towards the end of the 19th century mill-spun fabric was fast-replacing handloom fabric.

What does it mean to us today? Where does hand-spinning fit in the evolution of the technology of cloth manufacture today? What kind of a dialogue is required in contemporary India for the handmade and the machine-made? Some of these answers will inform how we as a country evolve our own unique design vocabulary in a fast globalizing world and how we chose to express and explain who we are to ourselves and to the world. Hand-spinning, has died in most parts of the world.

There are many more social, economic and cultural contexts for khadi. Yet its potential as an International brand has not been targeted. It survives on Government Subsidies with huge unsold stocks, poor sales infrastructure, and a lack of any pro-active competitive Market Strategy.

But before, and beyond all this, the most important question remains of the craftspeople themselves…how can the expanding opportunities presented by global markets mean a higher wage for them? For their hand-skills, which today can command high prices from international audiences…This is the real challenge. To restore to a sophisticated skill the respect it truly deserves, and to its extension as an important expression for creative India, suggesting a product at the same time- capable of standing on its own.

Mendocino Fiber Cooperative and SIDHI are currently establishing a network of textilests in the Sirmour region of Himachal Pradesh to employ and empower the people who’s economics resources are becoming endangered. Through weaving traditional Khadi, blankets, shawls, and other goods. These textiles from this region are unlike any other textiles from around the world. Uniquely made by hand from their families techniques passed down from generation to generation.

Born in Germany and worked there as a social worker in the field of rehabilitation & disability. Currently working with SIDHI voluntarily

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