One of the oldest Khadi institutions in Assam, which remained in a vandalized state bearing the scars of Bodo insurgency for over 30 years, has been brought back to life by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). The Khadi workshed at village Kawali in Baksa district of Assam, which was burnt down by Bodo insurgents in 1989, has been revived as a Silk reeling center by KVIC. Spinning and weaving activities will restart at the workshed with 15 women artisans and 5 other staffs in the second week of February.
The workshed was constructed by a Khadi institution called Tamulpur Anchalik Gramdan Sangh which shifted to Assam from Arunachal Pradesh following the Chinese aggression in 1962. It began operations with mustard oil production and by the year 1970, spinning and weaving activities also started there providing livelihood to 50 artisan families. However, tragedy struck when the institution was burnt down by extremists in 1989 and it remained defunct since then.
KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said the revival of this Khadi workshed assumed historical significance and that resumption of Khadi activities would create employment for the locals. “To begin with, KVIC will develop this unit for reeling of elegant Eri Silk of Assam. Other Khadi activities like manufacturing of village industry products will also be started in future. This center will become a major employment creator for the local artisans,” Saxena said.”This initiative is aligned with Khadi’s core Gandhian principle of “rural resurgence” which also coincides with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision – Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas,” Saxena added.
This Khadi workshed is located 90 km from Guwahati. The workshed has been refurbished with the financial assistance from KVIC. The idea behind the workshed scheme is to provide better working condition to the Khadi artisans that will ultimately improve their productivity. In recent years, KVIC has revived several such Khadi institutions in states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Odisha and Tamil Nadu that were lying defunct for many decades.