IIT, Mumbai is the second institute after Gujarat University to choose khadi for convocation robe. The institute has placed an order for 3,500 uttarias or angavastrams made of honey comb towel cotton khadi for use by students at the time of institute's convocation, the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) said.
“It is a significant development and this shows that khadi is gaining ground in every sphere of life,” the ministry said.
“Khadi is our national symbol and we have adopted khadi to inculcate feeling of nationalism in the students,” said IIT, Mumbai director Devang Khakhar.
The popularity and acceptance of khadi has been growing steadily across the country since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government took office in May 2014.
“Khadi has the power to provide employment to crores of people. It has now become a symbol and a centre of interest of the nation's youth,” Modi said in his first 'Mann Ki Baat' (radio) address in 2016.
Describing khadi as Mahatma Gandhi's legacy and a fabric that signifies India's culture, Modi said that the ministry of railways, police, navy and other government offices have taken up initiatives to promote khadi.
The government is planning to brand khadi as 'Harit Vastra' to pitch the fabric in the market as an organic, green fabric. The MSME is considering collaboration with private textile mills to produce and market 'Harit Vastra'. Independent studies have suggested that the market potential for khadi goods in India stands at a whopping Rs 40,000 crore.
The MSME is in the process of revamping the 7,000-odd Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) stores spread across the country. The KVIC recently appointed ace fashion designer Ritu Beri as its advisor as part of measures to attract youth to Khadi. (RKS)
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