Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) planned production of Pashmina wool in Varanasi. Pashmina wool products are indigenous to the high-altitude regions of Leh-Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has roped in 4 Khadi Institutions from Varanasi & Ghazipur districts in Uttar Pradesh for processing Raw Pashmina wool and weaving it further into woollen fabric. The fabric will be woven in Varanasi. This is the of its kind attempt to produce Pashmina weaving outside J&K.
What is the plan?
Pashmina weaving in Varanasi will begin from January next year. 20 Khadi artisans from Sewapuri Ashram in Varanasi will be given 30-days training in Pashmina weaving for which 2 master trainers from West Bengal have been roped in by these institutions. These four Khadi Institutions of Varanasi division have started processing of raw Pashmina wool in Delhi.
These 4 khadi institutions taking up the Pahmina Production in Varanasi are: Krishak Gramodyog Vikas Sansthan, Varanasi, Shri Mahadev Khadi Gramodyog Sansthan, Ghazipur, Khadi Kambal udyog sansthan, ghazipur and Gram Sewa Ashram, Ghazipur.
These KVIC recognized Khadi institutions have started procurement of raw Pashmina wool from Leh-Ladakh and brought it to Delhi on 15th November for processing that is dehairing and converting it into roving. The roving will be sent back to the Khadi artisans in Leh for spinning, who have been provided with 100 new model charkhas by KVIC.
The development comes after a meeting of Chairman KVIC Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena with the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Shri RK Mathur recently where LG informed that around 50 MT raw pashmina is produced in Leh-Ladakh per annum out of which, after cleaning and processing, only 15 MT dehaired wool is produced for production of Pashmina wool products. Even in just 15 MT dehaired Pashmina wool, a meagre 500 kg quantity, i.e. 0.5 MT only, is utilized in Leh-Ladakh by a few small units for manufacturing of Pashmina products, which is causing loss of employment in Ladakh.
Chairman KVIC, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said, “this move will not only ensure utilization of entire quality of de-haired Pashmina wool of Ladakh but will also open new job opportunities for local artisans and availability of genuine and affordable Pashmina wool products in Varanasi. KVIC will provide online marketing support also to these khadi institutions. This will be a path-breaking initiative as the production of Pashmina would, for the first time, be done outside the J&K and Leh-Ladakh region.”