New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) The government has planned to connect as many as 5 crore village women to charkha (spinning wheel) in next 5 years with a view to provide them employment and promote khadi, Union minister Giriraj Singh said today. Also Read - Policeman Shoots Himself Dead Near UP Assembly Complex, Probe Underway

“Following the ‘Khadi for Fashion’ call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ministry has planned to connect not less than five crore village women to Charkha (spinning wheel),” Singh said while addressing a function on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti at Khadi Bhawan in Connaught Place here. Also Read - BJP MP Kaushal Kishore's Son Shot By Bike-Borne Assailants In Lucknow

Khadi has now been popular in younger generation also, the minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises said. Also Read - Over 54 School Students in Haryana's Karnal Test COVID Positive; School Building Declared Containment Zone

“For a significant span of time Khadi was meant for either dadaji (older ones) or netaji (politicians). But, it was the initiatives and appeals made by our Prime Minister who is himself the latest USP of Khadi that Khadi has now become a fashion trend among the youths,” he said, adding, “even the results speak. The previous governments could increase the sale by 70 per cent in 10-odd years, but we enhanced it to 90 per cent”.

Speaking of solar charkhas, the minister said it would provide employment to at least five crore village women in the coming five years.

“We are already on our heels (in) this connection, with five pilot projects at Varanasi (PM s constituency), Nawada (minister s constituency) and other places. It will ensure a regular income between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 to each of the women,” he said.

He claimed that to make khadi a fashion brand across the globe, the department is in regular contact with all leading fashion institutes of the country.

Singh further said that even in Africa, as a part of centenary year celebrations of Gandhiji’s Swadeshi Movement, Indian High Commission in Uganda along with the African nation is unveiling Gandhi Charkha gifted by KVIC at the Gandhi Heritage Site at Jinja (Uganda) today, which is also the International Day of Non-Violence.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, in his address, said Khadi had been spreading its wings in all directions for creating maximum job opportunities for the artisans.

“Since sanitation and Khadi was close to Mahatma Gandhi’s heart, the KVIC is all set to take his legacy forward,” he said, adding, “We have also taken up the Prime Minister s call of Sweet Revolution very seriously and we are trying to give a major push to our Honey Mission in the coming days”.

Earlier, the minister inaugurated the 60 khadi outlets which were renovated and re-launched during the completion of KVIC s 60th anniversary and a khadi outlet at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow, through remote device.

He also handed over the cheques to five artisans, each from two khadi institutions of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, under the new sales initiatives undertaken by KVIC.

Later, he inaugurated a honey parlour showcasing several qualities of honey at Palika Bazaar.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.