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Solar charkhas set to change khadi sector
Mar '16
A solar loom unit in Jalgaon./Courtesy: MGIRI, Wardha
A solar loom unit in Jalgaon./Courtesy: MGIRI, Wardha
The khadi sector is turning a new leaf, replacing the traditional hand-operated spinning wheels with solar-powered charkhas.

And they are making their mark in Andhra Pradesh in a pilot project, according to a report in The Hindu.

The initiative, taken up by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), aims at reducing the drudgery of spinners, boosting productivity and improving their livelihood.

The solar charkhas have been introduced to ease the burden of the spinners, allowing them to make use of renewable energy and boost their income.

The solar-driven wheel can produce up to 75-90 hanks of yarn in eight hours as compared to the 25-30 hanks made by the hand-spun charkha.

Another advantage the solar charkhas have over the manually-operated charkhas is that they let artisans to work at their convenience, saving time and energy.

“We are expecting a 300 per cent rise in the yarn output through the solar-powered wheels. Besides, the artisan can also earn Rs.350 per day as against Rs.140 on a conventional wheel,” said K. Brahmajee Rao, divisional director of KVIC.

In line with the pilot project, a total of 10 charkhas have been sourced from Gujarat-based Udyog Bharti under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme, each costing Rs.72,000.

The solar-powered charkhas have been installed in various khadi institutions located at Anakapalle, Tuni, Narasannapeta, Vemulapudi, Krishnapuram, and Visakhapatnam. Based on the artisans' feedback, more solar-powered charkhas will be procured in a phased manner.

“The plan is to get 10 solar charkhas for major khadi institutions and five for medium ones that fall in the bracket of the divisional office, KVIC, Visakhapatnam,” Rao said.

With the launch of new model charkhas, the KVIC not only focusing on doubling the production and quality of yarn but also tapping the potential of scores of homemakers in the rural pockets, providing sustainable employment. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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