Monday, 23 January 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charkha photograph was shot at a Ludhiana event

LUDHIANA: The photograph of PM Narendra Modi spinning a charkha which was used by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) on its 2017 calendar sparking a controversy, was shot at an event in Ludhiana in October last year. The organisers had even distributed charkhas to women from poor families at the event, but many of them no longer work, leaving the women dismayed.

Modi had visited Ludhiana on October 18 for an event organized by the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) ministry. He had sat with the women on stage and spun the charkha, creating the photo opportunity. In addition to awarding entrepreneurs, some 500 charkhas were given to rural women to make them self-sufficient. According to the organisers, the charkha was to add Rs 150 to their daily income. Modi had told the gathering that the original slogan was 'Khadi for nation', but it should now be 'Khadi for fashion'. TOI visited Littran village in Jalandhar where about 20 of the 500 charkhas were distributed. At least four of the women said that their charkhas were faulty and claimed that most of the other women had also packed up their wheels as they couldn't spin anything on them.

Kulwinder Kaur has preserved her 'Modi charkha', as she calls it, in a cardboard box. A skilled worker with almost 30 years of experience, she prefers her 20-year-old charkha which works just fine. She pulls out the Modi charkha for a demonstration, but when she tries to spin it, the wheel jams and the wooden structure makes a screeching sound.

She chuckles and says, "Hun dasso, ehda achaar pana? (What should I do with this, make pickle out of it?) Wouldn't it have been better to give us some money instead? The charkhas given to us in Ludhiana during the programme looked the same but were of superior quality .This one seems to be a cheaper version."


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