Making a national flag requires special skill as it involves sentiment as well. The weavers strive hard to make one with a single handmade cotton thread as per the norms.
Use of plastic or any other material is prohibited as per the `Flag Code 2002’. But the Mr Modi government made changes to the code in 2021 allowing polyester and plastic-made national flags for use during Independence day and Republic day.
The Bureau of Indian Standards recognised the only institute – Karnataka Khadi Gramodyog Samyuktha Sangha (KKGSS) which gets rupees eight to Rs 10 crore worth of orders to make the national flag from the Central government every year. But this time only Rs 1.5 crore worth of orders were given to Sangha as plastic-made and polyester-made flags are allowed and are cheaper than hand-made cotton flags.
The Sangha launched a movement demanding that the Central government withdraw its amendments and rescue the Khadi workers. All that the Khadi workers get is Rs 10,000 per month and tailoring and spinning workers get a meagre Rs 4,000 per month.
There are about 600 Khadi workers in Hubli and 1,300 in Bhagalkote. Their lives are endangered now, said Mr Sivanananda of Sangha.
One Rehana Bellari, a Khadi worker said she has been working for 18 years in Sangha and she does not know any other work except making Khadi items. The Central government imposed GST on Sangha products and workers’ salaries were decreased as a result. “We are happy with our work though with little wage but the Centre’s decision is hitting us hard now,” she said.
The unveiling of the story after story of people across the country only reflects the bad administration with the least regard for the lives of people by the Central government.
By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao