With enthusiasm building for the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, khadi stores in Ahmedabad are facing several problems. High demand for khadi flags has left big dealers in the state with a shortage of tricolour, and customers are going back empty-handed. Small and medium-sized khadi flags are most in demand, which have sold out quickly. Now dealers have just a limited number of pieces with them.
This campaign is the Centre’s initiative to mark the 75th year of India’s independence. The government, led by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi, has urged the citizens to hoist the tricolour in their homes, organizations and business places from August 13 to 15.
Knowing that they would have to be prepared for the occasion, schools, colleges, co-operatives, and other entities started approaching the khadi dealers to buy the flags in bulk. While many of these entities are looking to purchase 100s of flags, a few require as many as 50,000 or more.
While this should be a lucrative opportunity for khadi businesses, they are forced to turn away many customers as they are rapidly running out of stock. Many dealers have had to turn away big customers that could have brought in major profits.
According to sources, the only two khadi manufacturers in the country have licenses to produce khadi flags. One of them is in Maharashtra, and the other is in Karnataka. It is also important to note that weaving and dyeing of khadi fabric take up to three months. It is impossible for just two manufacturers to meet such a huge demand in a limited period of time.
No manufacturer in Gujarat is authorized to make the flag. The announcement of the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign has been in talks for the past couple of months, and the official announcement was only made in July. Sources believe that the government should have made the announcement at least six months earlier so the khadi stores could have enough stocks with them.