Leh, a bustling tourist town in Jammu and Kashmir, has got a helping hand from the Khadi India to counter the dominance of Chinese goods in its market.
A top official of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) said the Khadi India has been in discussion with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) to help artisans and craftsmen in Leh to overcome the infiltration of Chinese goods.
KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the Khadi India was committed to cooperate with the LAHDC so that traditional art and craft of Leh regains its lost glory.
He said the KVIC was exploring all means to reach to the remotest corner of the country and during a four-day tour to Jammu and Kashmir he visited Leh and held discussion with Dorjey Mutup, the Chief Executive Councillor of LAHDC on September 27 for starting Khadi developmental activities at the outmost hilly hamlets there.
A KVIC statement said a first-ever district-level Khadi exhibition was also inaugurated to establish the Gandhian tool of self-reliance in the hilly land of Buddha.
"I had long and fruitful discussion with Chief Executive of the LAHDC Dorjey Mutup and his council colleagues at Leh for starting Khadi developmental activities," Saxena said.
He said the KVIC has initially decided to give 25 Charkhas and five looms to one village of the Leh region, 20 electric potter wheels to other one and 500 bee-boxes to the third village in a month's time – after imparting proper training to the beneficiaries.
"While through spinning activities the villagers will start earning from Rs 150 to Rs 200 per day, the electric potter wheel will enhance per day income of a potter from Rs 100 to at least Rs 300. Similarly, from 10 bee boxes to one person, he will start earning a minimum of Rs 50,000 per year" the statement quoted the Chairman as saying.
The KVIC is also reaching to other villages of Jammu and Kashmir which has been affected by militancy and provide help to the artisans of Kashmir's Kraals (potters), by distributing one electric potter wheels, one set of poug mill, one set of Blunger and one set of gas-fired kiln to each group of 10 potters in altogether 160 beneficiaries in Pampore district.
"It would subsequently enhance the daily income of the potters thrice from Rs 100 to Rs 300, besides saving this rare, intricate and otherwise exterminating blend of Kashmiri crafts," the KVIC said.