The khadi sector is 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.
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.
“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,” K. Brahmajee Rao, divisional director of KVIC said.
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 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.