KVIC launches 'Terracotta Grinder' in Varanasi

Tradition with innovation has been the mantra of Khadi's growth in recent past, and it was reflected on September 2 again, when Khadi and Village Industries Commission, for the first time in the history of pottery, launched a 'Terracotta Grinder' at Sewapuri in Varanasi. This machine would grind the wasted potter items, for re-using it in pottery-making.

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, who himself contemplated and designed this 'Terracotta Grinder', said that taking cognizance of the broken pottery items like Kulhads, plates and pitchers etc, a need to re-use it in a proper manner was urgently felt. "During my visit to potters-dominated Kesripur village in Varanasi last month, I saw the numerous heaps of wasted terracotta items at every nook and corner of the village. After that, I suggested Chandan Prajapati – one of the young potters of Kesripur – to grind the broken and wasted terracotta products, to re-use it mixing with the normal clay. Accordingly, wasted pottery items were grinded in normal khal-musal (mortar and pestle) and its fine powder was mixed with the normal clay in the ratio of 20:80," he said, adding, "Incidentally, Chandan's whole family is in the pottery vocation, including his father – a veteran potter – outrightly denied the possibility of re-using the powder in making terracotta products."

However, on KVIC Chairman's insistence the powder was mixed with the normal clay in the stipulated ratio and kulhads and other pottery items were made on the Electric Potter Wheels, given by the KVIC. The villagers were surprised that the pottery items made from this mixture were not only perfect, but were also stronger to sustain. "After the success of this experiment and the satisfaction of the potters, I designed a grinder that can be used at a larger level with lower costing. I gave the design of this 'Terracotta Grinder' to a Rajkot-based engineering unit to fabricate it," he said, adding, "It will be a boon for potters in many ways. At one hand, it will lessen their cost of production; on the other hand, it will also save them from the problem of dearth of clays. As the cost of one tractor trolley of clay is Rs 2,600 in Varanasi, with mixing of 20 percent of this wasted terracotta powder, the potter will save at least Rs 520 in it. It will also create more job opportunities in the villages from this machine."

On this occasion, KVIC Chairman also distributed 200 Electric Potter Wheels and other pottery machines among the villagers.

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