Khadi soot mala: A unique ticket for Charkha Museum
In the heart of Delhi, you can buy a ticket that, apart from giving you some pleasure, can give you a chestful of pride.
For a mere Rs 20, you can buy a colourful Khadi mala at the Heritage Charkha Museum in Connaught place and can view charkhas that spun the earth fabric nearly a hundred years ago and helped determine the path of self reliance, which the father of the nation tread along with thousands, to secure us as an independent country and a free civilization. Over a dozen heritage charkhas are exhibited and a glimpse of the history of over a hundred years is showcased at this museum situated at Palika Bazar Park, just opposite Khadi India outlet.
If you take a deep look down this veneer of pleasure, you will realize that the ticket you bought is a building block of someone's well-deserved livelihood. The 'Khadi soot mala' is made of wasted material drawn from Khadi and Village Industries Commission' s (KVIC) Central Silver Plant. It may be noted that in a land from where Mahatma Gandhi kicked off his Satyagraha, i.e., in the silver plant at Hazipur in Patna, as many as 30 women are making these 'soot malas'. Back in the heart of the national Capital, as many as 10 women are engaged in making these 'soot malas', better known as 'Khadi Gundi' as an entry ticket for the Museum at Gangaben Kuttir.
KVIC Chairman, V K Saxena has some socio-economic perspective behind this act of making 'soot malas', he says, "With a simple effort to bring out positive changes in the lives of artisans, we are providing direct employment to altogether 45 women, i.e., 10 in Gangaben Kutir, 30 at Hazipur and five in the dying work for the 'soots malas'."
Every time you buy this ticket, you have a memento that provides momentous support to an artisanal family. Besides, even the women inmates of Tihar Jail, under its reformation programme, also get benefited from your purchase. Between May 2017 and January 2018, these ticket sales have fetched over Rs 20 lakhs. Nearly a lakh people have bought these tickets already.
In a nutshell, a ticket at the heart of the Capital – besides giving satisfaction to the visitors of Charkha Museum, also builds some people's lives elsewhere. And KVIC plans to turn the corpus secured from the sale of these tickets into a trust for the welfare of poor Khadi artisanal families, as this is a unique ticket of pride, sympathy and an invisible purpose of national support. There was never a ticket that so directly sustained livelihoods of most deserving people.