Khadi

The Charkha is an instrument of service – Mahatma Gandhi

Here is the story of making handmade clothes.

At ‘Parivartan’ the NGO I work with in Bihar, the process of making handmade clothes begins with the cultivation of cotton, where a farmer cultivates cotton on her/his land. The time period for growing cotton is four months. 1

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After the harvest, the cotton reaches the hands of women, where the women processes this cotton. Up to the process of making thread, it reaches the next step where the women fill the thread in a bobbin through the Charkha.

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A 100-year old man working on the Charkha

Further threads are to be separated and get set as per the design of the cloth.

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In the next process, wrapping of the thread is done in order to set it as per the breadth and length of the cloth.

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Now the step comes where thread is now ready (processed enough) to become in the form of cloth.

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After getting the cloth out of thread, the bleaching & finishing is carried out.

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After getting the cloth fully processed, it comes to the campus of Parivartan, where by the efforts of the ‘Srijani Foundation’ with the objective of women-empowerment, women are employed after getting trained for tailoring, to use this same cloth to make uniforms for school children and earns their livelihood.

In cutting process, 4 members are engaged, including 1 master.

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For the stitching process, 40 women are engaged.

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Guruji, a 75 year old man, he has served / worked in this profession since 1948 and retired in 2005. Now he teaches women how to make thread from cotton.

Employment : ‘Srijani Foundation’ at Parivartan campus enables employment to 43 women in cutting and stitching process. In addition to this, with the other processes like Winding, Loom, Bleaching and Finishing 400 people are directly and indirectly are benefited with food. For the first time I saw the process of making cloths and khadi, which is absolutely hand-made. This made me remember Gandhi ji and his words,

The art that is in the machine – made article appeals only to the eye; the art in khadi appeals first to the heart and then to the eye.”

Pics by – Abhishek ji and Ravi ji

Permission- Veena Upadhyay, Chief Executive, Srijani Foundation

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