‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign: Khadi stores in Ahmedabad face huge demand for tricolour | Ahmedabad News – Times of India

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Only two flag manufacturing units in the country, one in Maharashtra and the other in Karnataka, are authorised to make khadi flags. ( Representational image)

AHMEDABAD: The Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga‘ campaign has brought both joy and pain for khadi stores in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad as they are fast running out of small and medium-sized tricolours due to an unprecedented demand ahead of Independence Day. ‘Har Ghar Tiranga‘ is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the tricolour home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India’s independence.
The Gujarat government had earlier announced that apart from government buildings, the tricolour will be hoisted atop one crore houses across the state from August 13 to 15 under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.
As the date for the event is fast approaching, people associated with various organisations, such as schools and cooperative entities, are now knocking on doors of prominent khadi stores in the city to buy the tricolour.
However, many are forced to return empty-handed, as the stock is either limited or exhausted in most of these stores, located near the famous Sabarmati Ashram, also known as Gandhi Ashram.
“We are supposed to purchase nearly 300 small flags to distribute to our employees. But, we have so far managed to procure only 120, as almost all khadi stores have run out of stock,” said a senior employee of a dairy who came to buy the tricolour at a store on Ashram Road.
Kamlesh Patel, manager of the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, said he had to turn away a customer who wanted to buy 50,000 flags of 1×1.5 feet dimension, each priced at nearly Rs 150.
“This size flag is popular because it can be hoisted on houses. But, we don’t have any stock. Even flags of a larger dimension such as 2×3 feet are sold out. The government should have given khadi manufacturers more time to make flags because the fabric is handmade and it takes more time,” Patel said.
Only two flag manufacturing units in the country, one in Maharashtra and the other in Karnataka, are authorised to make khadi flags.
“Weaving and dyeing of khadi fabric takes two to three months. No organisation in Gujarat has the license to produce khadi flags. Now, it is impossible for these two organisations to meet the overwhelming demand for tricolours. The government should have given at least six months,” Patel said.
Naresh Borisa, who runs Chandan Khadi Store opposite Gandhi Ashram, is now left with only 80 to 90 flags of different sizes.
“I am happy that all my stock has sold out, as people still prefer khadi flags, despite the availability of polyester ones. But, I have to turn away customers now as there isn’t going to be any supply in the near future,” Borisa said.
As per the revised Flag Code of India, the tricolour can now be made of polyester and with the help of machines. Earlier, flags made of only handwoven and handspun made of cotton, silk, wool or khadi were allowed.
Despite the availability and affordability of polyester flags, people are flocking to khadi stores because of the “sentiments attached with it”, said a customer who came to buy the flag for a trust building in the Naroda area.
“I know that polyester flags are allowed and they look attractive when they fly in the air. But, I believe that the national flag must be of khadi only. Our sentiments are attached with it. Hence, I came here to buy one and I am ready to pay double the price,” said Babubhai Pillai of Nair Seva Samaj of Naroda area.
Shailendra Singh, manager of a store run by the Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, said footfalls have increased manifold after the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign was announced.
“In August every year, 15 to 20 people buy flags from us every day. Now, 80 to 90 customers are visiting our store daily to buy the tricolour. There is absolutely no impact on demand for khadi flags due to the permission granted for polyester flags. But, the supply is limited and demand is huge. I believe that we should have been informed in advance,” Singh said.


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