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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tribute to Gandhi & his ways
- Nitish keen to revive khadi

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday advocated the branding and promotion of khadi and related products that became synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi, to help them remain in the competitive market.

“The demand of khadi and other products made by Khadi Gramodyog has increased tremendously. People want to use them. What is needed is to ensure that they are made available to the people through proper branding. Branding helps in persuading the people (consumers). There is nothing wrong in branding a product to remain in the competitive market,” Nitish said, inaugurating the Satyagrah Bhavan at Gandhi Sangrahalaya in Patna.

Satyagrah Bhavan depicts villages and villagers’ traditional way for economic life. The bhavan houses several things such as janta (hand mill), kargha (loom), charkha (spinning wheel) etc.

Nitish said people should think on the daily income of those who have been using the traditional method to earn a living. “Unless we get an answer to the problem, we cannot move ahead with these tools,” Nitish said, adding that his government had also created a separate body to promote khadi and products made by Khadi Gramodyog.

Mahatma Gandhi had promoted khadi for self-reliance.

Citing the example, Nitish said sattu, which is grinded by hand mill is tastier in comparison to the modern method of grinding but people engaged in the business need to publicise the fact and brand it as a product.

Chief minister asked Razi Ahmad, the secretary of Gandhi Sangrahalaya, to organise a national-level seminar of Gandhian economists in Patna on how khadi and related products should be branded and made more competitive.

He announced that the state government would provide all possible help to the Sangrahalaya in its efforts to organise the seminar.

Nitish also reiterated his stand on FDI in multi-brand retail and said he would not allow its implementation in the state at the cost of those who live on the roadside and street-side vendors.

He also released a book Neel Sangharsh by Braj Kishore Singh, the secretary of Gandhi Sangrahalaya of Motihari.

Razi, the secretary of Gandhi Sangrahalaya, said: “The foundation stone for Satyagrah Bhavan was laid a year ago. We have tried to show how the village economy was self-reliant. Different types of tools were depicted to make people aware of them.”