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Sunday, April 11, 2021

On sidelines of PM visit, push to revive indigenous products

The initiative will look at incubating 10 projects which will look at the revival of ‘swadeshi’ (indigenous) and ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliance) products as a viable product.

Written by Sohini Ghosh | Ahmedabad |
March 13, 2021 5:32:17 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off a padyatra from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari to commemorate the Dandi Yatra, on Friday. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

On the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ahmedabad on Friday was an announcement of the Heritage Incubation initiative, which is aimed at being a partnership between Ministry of Culture and the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (SAPMT).

The initiative will look at incubating 10 projects which will look at the revival of ‘swadeshi’ (indigenous) and ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliance) products as a viable product. The products in focus will be such which has seen erasure over time owing to loss of technique and knowledge.

SAPMT trustee Kartikeya Sarabhai said, “There are several natural products which for centuries were connected with a culture that knew how to use it… When the British came, there were several such products that they did not understand… For example, they found Indian cotton was short-stapled while their machines were designed for long-staple cotton….as a result, short-staple cotton slowly started disappearing…There are several such (indigenous) products which were suppressed through the colonial period and are coming out only now.”

Paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of ‘aatmanirbharta’, Modi also announced that a charkha will be installed at the Sabarmati Ashram that will rotate a full circle each time someone tweets with ‘#VocalForLocal’.

An official said it was initially planned to be housed at Magan Niwas, but another site has now been chosen within the Ashram owing to its size. Measuring 9.3 feet in height, 16 feet in length and 4 feet in width, the spinning wheel will be an internet-connected device powered by electricity.

Modi, who was at the Sabarmati Ashram for about five-odd minutes on Friday, was gifted a framed excerpt of a speech of Gandhi that he had delivered on October 2, 1919 at Bhagini Samaj at then Bombay and a book titled Gandhiji in Ahmedabad. The speech excerpt sees Gandhi appeal that “India must learn to be self-reliant.”

Following the visit to the Sabarmati Ashram, Modi was taken on a guided tour by historian Rizwan Kadri, through an exhibition of pencil sketches of Gandhi and several others who had joined in on the 1930 Dandi March, drawn by Chhaganlal Jadhav.

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