Heavy demand for the tri-colour ahead of Independence Day
The Assam Khadi and Village Industries Board is busy in making the tri-colour ahead of Independence Day and had set a target to produce flags worth Rs. 10 lakhs. Till 31st July flags worth Rs. 12 lakhs have been produced.
Earlier, people were apprehensive of going out of their homes during Independence Day and Republic Day as rebel groups regularly gave calls to boycott the celebrations. This situation prevailed for a long period of around 18-20 years. But now-a-days people come forward to celebrate in schools, colleges and offices and therefore the demand for the tri-colour has increased in the last two-three years. “Since the last two years the demand for the tri-colour has increased and we make six different sizes of flags. We get orders from the government and political parties also buy flags as per their requirements,” said Anup Chetia, Executive Officer of Assam Khadi and Village Industries Board while speaking to G Plus.
The Board has appointed workers on contractual basis to make the tri-colour and many workers have been working under the board since 15-20 years. “It’s a matter of pride for us that we are engaged in such work which makes us feel good and it has been our luck that we have been engaged in the work since so many years. I am working here for the last 20-22 years and although we do not get much money we are happy that we are busy and by doing this work we feel that we are doing something for our country,” said Pratima Barman, one of the workers.
The women belong to the economically weaker section and the money that they get is not enough but it keeps them busy in a work which carries a lot of dignity. “During Independence and Republic Day we make the tri-colour and in other seasons we make kurtas, pyjamas, Nehru caps, jackets, etc. We don’t think of the money but we are happy keeping ourselves busy in a work which also gives us pride,” said Mira Saikia, who is working with the Board since seven years making the tri-colour.
Rates of Flags:
6’x4’- Rs. 500
3’x4.5’- Rs. 370
2’x3’- Rs. 200
1.5’ x 2.25’- Rs. 130
1’x 1.5’- Rs. 90
6’’x9’’- Rs. 60
A worker of the Board said that in Guwahati there are three bhandars and they take orders from the government departments and accordingly they distribute the number of flags. “We bought the cloth from New Model Charkhar which is approved by Khadi and Village Industries as we cannot purchase the cloth from any other organization. Only the white cloth is brought and we dye the cloth with saffron and green colour. The Ashok Chakra is printed on the white portion and the flag is thereby complete. We need around 2000 thaan of cloth and one thaan consists of 12 metres,” the worker said.
Binanda Kalita, in-charge of the tailoring section of the Board said that the women are hired on contractual basis and they are permanently contracted as it is very difficult to make the flag in the prescribed measurements as these are not known by any normal tailor but by the professionals.
Kalita said that the labour charges of the employees differ with respect to the size of the flags. It starts from Rs. 9 for a 6’’x9’’ flag to Rs. 32 for a 6’x4’ flag. The work commenced in July and it will continue till Independence Day. It is a fairly difficult task and the women work hard to complete the task within the stipulated time.
The Executive Officer also said that DTDC Express, the courier service, has ordered a flag of 12’x8’ which is the largest flag till date and they will fly the tri-colour in their head office in Bangalore.
It has been seen that the markets are flooded with different sizes of tri-colours made from different materials. However, the main significance of the tri-colour is that it should be made of khadi cloth. But people often do not know this and buy flags made of plastic, paper or other materials.
• Tri-colours in huge numbers being prepared ahead of Independence Day
• DTDC Express has ordered the largest size of flag which will be hoisted at its headquarters in Bangaluru
• Six sizes of flags are being made according to the demand in the market
• The cloths are being brought from New Model Charkhar (NMC), West Bengal as the NMC of Assam has been closed down due to some problem
• The flags are being given to the bhandars for production in different departments and the city has three such bhandars which deliver the flags