‘Shramdan’ is shaping Gandhi’s dream of self-employment

Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of self-employment through the ‘charkha’ and ‘khadi’ and this dream has turned into reality through the efforts of Jain sage Acharya Vidyasagar. An example of this is the Bina Baraha village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, whose identity has become known after ‘handlooms’. The brand name of the clothes made here is ‘Shramdan’.

‘Bina Baraha’ village is located close to Bina tehsil in Sagar district. The foundation of the handloom centre was laid nearly five years ago in this village and Jain sage Vidyasagar has been a major contributor to it. Pandit Bhuramal Social Cooperative Society started a handloom centre here with only 10 handlooms and 20 charkhas.

Training of youth was started here so that they could become self-employed. Now there are 120 handlooms operating at this centre and the workers here earn up to Rs 700 every day.

There are 60 handlooms in the centre at ‘Bina Baraha’ village while 60 handlooms have been made available to the people of the surrounding villages. These people manufacture clothes at home.

The success of this centre can be judged by the fact that 14 such centres are now operational. Centres of this society have also been started in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. They are identified as self-employment centres.

Brahmachari Anmol of this handloom centre says that the brand name ‘Shramdan’ was also given by Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj. The intention behind giving this name is that there is a donation of labour for self-employment.

It is reported that coloured and printed khadi is also manufactured in handloom centres operated through this institution. Salwar suits and shirt kurtas are also made here. Showrooms have been opened for the sale of such products in Bhopal, Ashoknagar, Khajuraho, Kundalpur, and Bina. The online sales of products is also done here.

Lakhan Prajapati, who works in this handloom centre, is pursuing undergraduate studies and also makes clothes. He says that when the centre was started, he underwent training and started making clothes from 2017 and now earns more than Rs 500 per day. His father earns his living by making earthen pots. In this way, while studying at home, he is also earning.

About 1100 people are connected with the centres set up by this institution, among them 800 men and 300 women. And products worth about Rs 7 crore are produced by these centres every year.

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