This an experimental offering from Gram Seva Mandal. In the Vidarbha area of Maharashtra where GSM is based, genetically modified BT cotton has had a devastating effect in the past few decades. For the farmer, the community and the environment. GSM is trying to introduce local varieties of cotton seeds the farmer can conserve himself. With organic practices she would no longer have to pay very high prices for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. She will become the master of her own destiny. GSM will also provide facilities for processing the cotton fiber and seed. Value addition will take place locally, creating jobs and prosperity.
To make this possible GSM is providing extensive training and support. GSM has an eighty year old khadi unit. The original old machines are now being replaced with modern ones. A new ginning machine has already been ordered. A new carding machine a new sliver machine will come next. With the new machines in place, GSM provide support to 300 farmers, 180 spinners and 70 weavers.
The khadi will be used in the villages and sold to ethical consumers. GSM has built a strong network to help with the marketing.
Gram Seva Mandal
Gram Sewa Mandal which manufactures the fabric has a strong faith in empowered villages. For khadi that means indigenous seeds and organic farming for cotton. It also means processing of cotton fiber and seeds locally, ideally in villages. https://khadieurope.wordpress.com/
They have replaced their seventy year old ginning machine with a modern efficient one. Carding and sliver machines are next in the queue. the new machinery will help them support. This will benefit 300 farmers, 180 spinners and 70 weavers. They are raising funds to make this happen.
Their marketing beyond village cluster is also innovative. They rely on ethical consumers, on friends and family with similar beliefs and on building networks. It is all happening because of a dedicated team. A dedicated team with experience and knowledge.
Gram Seva Mandal was founded by Vinoba in the 1930’s. It has an organic farm, a printing machine, a khadi workshop and oil crushing unit. People working in the ashram are dedicated. They lead a communal lifestyle. The ashram is open to the idea of visitors staying with them for long or short periods.
The ashram is only a few miles away from Sevagram, where Gandhi stayed in the 1930’s and 1940’s.