Railways joins KVIC to support millions of local potters
Acting quickly on the requests of Union Minister of MSME Nitin Gadkari and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the Ministry of Railways has decided to use locally produced, environment-savvy terracotta products like Kulhads, glasses and plates for serving catering items to passengers at 400 important railway stations.
Giving reference to the KVIC's grand success in its ambitious 'Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana', Gadkari had written a letter recently to the Union Minister of Railways – Piyush Goyal, for the issuing necessary directives to the concerned officials for adoption of locally-produced pottery products like Kulhads, glasses and plates at 400 important Railway Stations, for serving food items in Kulhads to enhance the income of local potters there.
Subsequently, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena also met the Railways Minister in this connection – besides writing him a letter, requesting him to conduct an internal survey to get the feedback from Varanasi and Rae Bareilly stations, where Railways had adopted terracotta products vide its letter dated January 16, 2019.
Approving the proposal of KVIC, the Ministry of Railways directed all Principal Chief Commercial Managers of different Zonal Railways and CMD IRCTC: "To further proliferate use of locally produced environment-savvy terracotta products like kulhad, glasses and plates for serving catering items at 400 railway Stations across Indian Railways."
Appreciating KVIC's efforts in empowerment of marginalised potter community through its enthusiastic Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana, the letter further states: "Since KVIC is implementing various programmes/schemes across the country to create employment at the doorsteps to the poorest of the poor to improve their economic conditions, the above request has been examined and considered by Board."
Enthused with the Railways' quick decision, Saxena thanked Railway Minister Piyush Goyel and said that it would encourage the local Kumhar community for higher production and income, as Railways have provided them a broad canvass for marketing their products at these high-commuting stations.
"I still remember how the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contemplated to bring the marginalised potter community to the mainstream with their economic development in April 2018. Taking it as a mission, KVIC launched its enthusiastic Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana in June 2018," he informed.
To meet the co-ordination between demand and supply after this recent order from the Railways, KVIC has decided to distribute 30,000 electric potter wheels along with adequate blungers, pug-mills and electric kilns, which will ensure production of 2.1 crore kulhads and other terracotta items per day.
Saxena has recently launched a new 'Terracotta Grinding Machine' at Varanasi, which will grind the wasted terracotta products and can be used as mixture with the fresh clay. It would not only grind the wasted and broken pottery items, which can be re-used for the pottery-making, but will also reduced the cost of production – which is presently Rs 0.80 to Rs 1.20 per kulhad, depending upon the cost of clay. KVIC would provide one such machine in a group of 50 potters across India in this financial year.
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