At least five village panchayats in Tamil Nadu are said to fly the Khadi national flags exclusively produced by the Gandhigram Trust’s Avvai Ashram in Sivasailam on this Independence Day.
Apparently inspired by the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, the Gandhigram Trust, located in the southern district of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, has embarked on a mission to produce 5,000 Khadi flags.
The flags would be distributed free of charge to village panchayats to help villagers display the national tricolor on top of their houses or within their premises.
“We trained 10 people to sew the national flag and imprint Ashoka’s chakra on it. They work tirelessly with 5 other people in our sewing unit in Sivasailam,” says K Shivakumar, Managing Director of Gandhigram Trust.
They were trained about a fortnight ago and told to stick to specifications stipulated by the central government and use only Khadi materials, he said.
On average, around 500 to 600 flags are made daily and the Gandhigram Trust hopes to complete production by August 12 to facilitate the distribution of the flags to village panchayats, he told PTI.
The workers, mostly women, were trained under the trust’s livelihood programme. They would be provided with employment throughout the year.
“Through this and many other initiatives, we hope to provide a sustainable income for the members of the Annaporna Self Help Group (SHG) we have formed,” he said.
“Gandhigram is proud that our unit in Sivasailam is actively involved in making national flags to help people celebrate Independence Day,” Shivakumar said. Responding to a question, he said it was the first time for the Sivasailam unit to produce the national flag. “Our government encourages people to hoist the flags in their homes, so we have decided to join the campaign to help people celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in a grand way. Incidentally, this is also the 75th year of our Gandhigram,” said the Managing Director.
Besides Gandhigram and Sivasailam, the Chettiapatti, Thoppampatti and Alamarathupatti panchayats will receive the flags and in turn distribute them to the villagers.
“The relaxation of the flag code rules by the central government allowing the public to hoist the national flags as part of the Har Ghar Triranga is an opportunity for every citizen to bring home the national tricolor,” Lt. Col. N Thiagarajan, veteran, who had taken part in the Kargil war.
He hopes to distribute free flags to the poor and tribals and help them express their patriotism. “I have planned to plant 750 saplings at the CRPF training center, Avadi, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,” Thiagarajan said.
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