Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) rolled out a massive employment drive benefitting 2250 artisan families in Malda district of West Bengal. Aiming to create sustainable livelihood opportunities in the state, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena distributed 1155 new model charkhas, 435 silk charkhas, 235 garment making machines, 230 modern looms and 135 reeling basins to artisans’ families. The beneficiaries include nearly 90% women artisans who are engaged in spinning and weaving activities.
Distribution of these advanced tools is one of the biggest such exercises in West Bengal in recent years. This drive will be a big boost to the spinning, weaving and reeling activities in the silk and cotton industry in Malda. KVIC has disbursed Rs 14 crore to strengthen 22 Khadi institutions of Malda. This exercise will also strengthen the readymade garment industry in the district which has been a major source of livelihood for local artisans.
Vinai Kumar Saxena said strengthening Khadi industry in West Bengal is aligned with the Prime Minister’s dream of having a charkha in every houselhold. He said this will also help to achieve the larger goal of generating jobs.
“Creating large-scale employment in West Bengal by strengthening the traditional cotton and silk industry in the state has been the key focus of KVIC. Reviving the closed units, strengthening the exisitng industries and creating sustainable local employment for local artisans will not only ensure financial self-sustainability but also help further strengthening of West Bengal in the areas of cotton, silk and garment manufacturing,” Saxena said.
KVIC Chairman said the employment activities rolled out in West Bengal will boost the calls for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and “Vocal for Local”. “Empowering the artisans with advanced machinery will speed up the production activities and ultimately add to their income. This will go a long way in further reviving the old crafts of West Bengal,” Saxena said.
It is pertinent to mention that since many centuries, West Bengal is known for producing some of the finest cotton and silk fabric. The state is widely acclaimed for its Muga, Mulberry and Tussar Silk that was a major atisanal activity since generations.
The state is also popular for its world famous muslin cotton. KVIC has, for the first time, provided online sale platform to muslin fabric through its e-portal, which has given a big boost to Bengal’s Khadi institutions. Saxena also urged institutions to explore new products like durries, blankets, etc for which KVIC is getting huge orders from paramilitary forces.