Curtain came down on Rashtriya Khadi Shilp Mahotsav at Gyan Bhawan on Monday. Addressing the closing ceremony, Bihar governor Satya Pal Malik emphasized on the importance of khadi and why the state needs to preserve this fabric.
“Khadi is not just a home spun cloth but a revolutionary idea. Khadi, for Mahatma Gandhi, was symbolic of Indian self-respect and self-reliance. It enabled him to carry his message of Swadeshi and Swaraj to the people. Bihar has a large contribution in preserving and promoting khadi,” said Malik.
The governor also appreciated the state government’s decision to formulate Bihar Khadi Policy. “It will help in promoting, branding and marketing of khadi products,” Malik said.
The concluding ceremony of Khadi Mahotsav was attended by noted Gandhian Razi Ahmed, industry minister Jai Kumar Singh, principal secretary S Siddharth and additional secretary Pradeep Kumar, among others. It was jointly organized by department of industry and Bihar Rajya Khadi Gramodhyog Board.
On the concluding day, the entrepreneurs were happy about their business. “We got a very good response from the customers. Some of them even asked about our shop in Patna. We are yet to calculate the exact footfall and the sale proceeds,” said Abhimanyu, a student at Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan (UMSAS), Patna, who had set up a stall of decorative items made of recycled brass and copper.
Abhishek Raj, another student from UMSAS had a stall of stone-carved items. “Our artisans gave live demonstration of how they carved the stones and transformed them into decorative items like statue of elephant, dodo, turtle, owl and many more. These items are popular in Rajgir and Nalanda,” he said, adding it would have been better if the fair was organized in open area like Gandhi Maidan.
Other artisans and weavers from across the state were also busy in selling their products on the last day. Puneet Keshri from Arwal district said: “I give credit to Valentine’s Day that helped in surge of my sales. Many couples got their names carved on wooden keychain, rice and carved wooden nameplate. The business was much better than last year.”
Traders from other states were also satisfied with their business. “Most women customers bought Pashmina shawl. I thought the business will not be good due to the change of place, but I was proved wrong,” said Baba Mehraj, a Kashmiri weaver.
Buyers at the Mahotsav were also upbeat with the wide array of products on offer. College student Rasmi Singh (21) said: “I liked the khadi products here, especially the tote bags, embroider kurtis, folders and stoles. The jute handicraft was worth buying. I bought one brass lamp, which looks exactly like the one in Aladdin.”