Khadi Drive To Support 'Tiger Widows' Transforms Bally Island In Sundarbans
Today, modern amenities, advanced equipment like charkhas and looms and marketing support are available for the women to help them achieve sustainable livelihood.
It is a historic transformation of the sleepy tiger-infested Bally island in the dense mangrove thickets of Sundarbans in West Bengal. The island, which was totally disconnected from the mainstream of development since Independence, is now bustling with khadi activities.
More than a hundred tiger widows (bag bidhoba in local parlance) of the Bally island who were engaged in spinning activity by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in 2018, can now boast modern amenities, advanced equipment like charkhas and looms and marketing support aimed at achieving sustainable livelihood.
To begin khadi activities on the island, KVIC had set up a temporary structure three years ago, which has been converted into a permanent work shed now.
KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena has inaugurated the newly built 3,000 sq feet work shed and a 500 sq feet common facility centre for khadi artisans on the Bally island.
The “Tiger Victim Khadi Katai Kendra” is now equipped with 125 new model charkhas, 15 modern looms and provides employment to nearly 150 women artisans of the Bally island. KVIC has also provided these artisans with yarn dyeing and readymade garment manufacturing machines.
The centre has been modernised at the cost of Rs 95 lakh which has been funded by KVIC under its Khadi Reforms and Development Programme (KRDP) and Workshed Scheme for khadi artisans. The centre is being run by a local khadi institution of West Bengal.
Saxena said the khadi activities on Bally island are inspired by Prime Minister’s vision of empowering the marginalised sections and reconnecting them with the mainstream development.
By taking up khadi activities, these artisans will be able to earn up to Rs 200 per day.
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