Barely 10 days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to buy khadi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address on radio, has Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan in Connaught Place witnessed a massive jump in sales. “There has been an 88 per cent increase since the Prime Minister spoke about buying khadi on September 20,” Naresh Pal, deputy chief executive officer and manager at the store said.
The store has witnessed a change in its customer base in the past few months. Around 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the customers are now youngsters. In order to cater to this younger clientele, the emporium has repackaged khadi with newer and modern patterns besides a contemporary style.
“Our sales are booming owing to a younger crowd that wants to experiment, and keeping this in mind we have also brought about a change in our line of products. Earlier 30 per cent of the products in the store were readymade but now this has been increased to 70 per cent,” Pal said.
The youth, he said, are increasingly getting attracted to khadi because of brighter colours and the fact that it is comfortable to wear. “It is most comfortable fabric to wear. I can wear it both in summer and winter,” Anuj Kalra, a student who was trying on a khadi kurta for the first time said.
The store now has an all-new designer section. Four hundred designers from across the country have been roped in to showcase their creativity. Buyers can get the garments customized too.
Meanwhile, asserting that khadi is the symbol of national unity and integration, union MSME minister Kalraj Mishra has said it should compete at today’s global marketplace and exhorted every citizen to purchase the fabric.
Inaugurating Khadi Utsav in New Delhi on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Mishra said “it’s necessary to develop village industries to ensure khadi competes at a global level and realises the vision of Gram Swaraj”. The minister felt that khadi exhibitions should be organised in every district of the country.
Arun Kumar Jha, CEO and Commissioner KVIC, said the objective of Khadi Utsav is to revive the dormant khadi production known for its sophistication and fineness as well as to revive the fortunes of artists who are generally working as ‘job workers’ now.