Centre for Policy and Development Studies (CPDS), a think tank based out of Tamil Nadu, has called upon the Ministry of Education to make Khadi uniforms mandatory in schools across the country.
Director of the organisation and a researcher on Handlooms C. Rajeev, in a statement to the Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan, demanded that khadi be used as a uniform in all the CBSE, ICSCE schools across the country and requested to make it mandatory in at least all the Kendriya Vidyalayas to start with.
There are around 45 lakh handloom workers across the country with each state having its unique handloom and Khadi clothing line. He said that with the sector struggling due to stocks being held up following Covid-19 and lockdowns, followed by natural calamities, there is urgent need to lift the morale of the handloom and khadi weavers and added that if the Ministry of Education makes it mandatory, then the sector will be lifted out of poverty.
Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country has around 13 lakh students and if these students use Khadi uniforms that are eco-friendly and without any carbon footprint, both the sectors will survive the crisis and students will have healthy materials as uniforms.
In addition to the 13 lakh students in KVs, there are about 2,87,000 students in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya’s (JNV) across the country, CPDS said. The organisation said that the government is directly purchasing the uniform and all other materials for the students of Navodaya Vidyalayas.
Rajeev said that the Centre was seriously contemplating making it mandatory for all KV’s in the country to use Khadi uniforms but unfortunately some bottlenecks have led to the project not taking off.
The organisation in its study has found that the handloom and khadi sectors through the country are in dire straits and added that clusters in Manipur, Panipat, Gujarat, and many parts of South India are not able to make ends meet following heavy losses in business following the lockdowns due to the pandemic as well as natural calamities.
The CPDS is also planning to request all the parliamentarians to take up the issue during the winter session of Parliament.