Shri Gandhi Khadi Ashram

Khadi as we all know is a term for handspun and hand-woven cloth in India. This establishment on the first floor of a row of shops opposite the Post Office offers shirts, kurta pyjamas, saris and head scarves, all made from the famous khadi fabric and even offers a tailoring service. A word on the start of the movement and reasons behind it is essential to understand why the store is popular even today. In 1918 Mahatma Gandhi started his movement for Khadi as a relief programme for the poor masses living in India's villages. Spinning and weaving was elevated to an ideology for self-reliance and self-government. Gandhi saw it as the end of dependency on foreign materials otherwise symbolizing foreign rule and thus giving a first lesson or real independence. It was thus for economic, cultural and social reasons and not merely political that Gandhi established the Khadi Movement. In 1934-35 he expanded the idea from helping the poor individual to self-reliance of whole villages. In 1942-43 he had sessions with workers groups and village organizers to re-organize the whole programme on a bigger country-wide scale. Though hugely popular at one point of time there are not that many takers of the fabric today. In recent years however Khadi has seen a revival in India with many designers, including Basant Rai of 'IN SYNC - Basant Anuj', Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal and others, who have been working on khadi to give it a modern look.


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