To boost indigenous khadi and institutionalise the sector for local job creation, the Yogi Adityanath government is looking at setting up of Khadi Parks in Uttar Pradesh.
The first Khadi Park is proposed at Kanpur Nagar district’s Bilhaur town, which is situated about 100 km from the state capital of Lucknow.
UP Khadi and Village Industries Minister Satyadev Pachauri has asked officials to prepare a detailed project report in this regard after studying the Jharkhand model, which already has such units in operation.
“We will also send a team of officials to Jharkhand to study their Khadi Park concept and try to replicate the same in UP for benefitting the state khadi sector and its stakeholders,” Pachauri told Business Standard.
Jharkhand’s maiden Khadi Park was formally launched in January 2018 at Amda village in Seraikela-Kharsawan district near Jamshedpur. Spread over an area of about 2 acres, the facility cost about Rs 40 million and comprised about 200 solar powered spinning wheels. The Park was aimed at training the youth for self-employment and arrest their migration in search of jobs.
Meanwhile, Pachauri said the department owned adequate land in Bilhaur and the same would be utilised for setting up of the Khadi Park. “It would be developed as an integrated facility comprising separate units for spinning, manufacturing, marketing and skill training with regards to khadi and related products,” he added.
Once the project report is ready, the department would seek grants to start the civil work soon thereafter, he added. Earlier, UP had become the first Indian state to accord the khadi status and related subsidies to khadi manufactured by solar charkha (solar powered spinning machine).
Besides, the department is also reviving the defunct handmade paper unit at Kalpi, Jalaun under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode apart from setting up a skill training centre in Bundelkhand for the youth.
The Adityanath government has been meticulously trying to make UP Brand as an exclusive and up-market brand to attract traction among youth and fashion conscious. The state has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with e-commerce giant Amazon to train artisans and hawk khadi products over its online marketplace. Similar, tie-ups would also be signed up with other companies.
At the UP Investors Summit 2018, the Adityanath government had signed MoUs to the tune of Rs 300 billion with Indian and foreign companies across the entire khadi value chain starting from manufacturing to retailing.
Last year, the government had unveiled its khadi policy to promote the sector, attract private investment and boost the income of artisans, especially in rural areas. The sector is also being promoted under the state’s flagship One District One Product (ODOP) scheme. The government is further planning to launch Khadi Plazas to showcase and sell khadi products.