New Delhi: The earthen fragrance of ‘Kulhad Chai’ is about to enrich your experience of visiting 25 Railway Stations of Rajasthan. These 25 stations include Bikaner, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Hanumangarh, Shri Ganganagar, Hisar, Churu, Suratgarh, Jodhpur, Pali, Barmer, Nagpur, Jaisalmer, Bhagat Ki Kothi, Luni, Jaipur, Jhunjhuna, Dausa, Gandhi Nagar, Durgapura, Sikar, Ajmer, Udaipur, Sirohi Road and Abu Road.
Earlier, at the request of Union MSME Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal, directed railway board to issue the directions accordingly. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, VK Saxena last year requested Union Railway Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal to allow Varanasi and Rae Bareli Stations as a pilot project for use of Kulhad and other earthen articles in place of plastic articles. The project was permitted and the 6 month report of these 2 stations, submitted by the concerned DRMs was quite encouraging.
Appreciating the move, Shri V.K. Saxena said, “This is a welcome move by the North Western Railways to replace plastic products by pottery products. Indian potters are migrating to other menial forms of livelihood due to lack of market for pottery products and the severe labour involved in it. KVIC launched Kumhar SashaktikaranYojna last year to empower Kumhar Community and distributed 10,000 electric pottery wheels replacing old hand spun labour intensive stone chaak. This year KVIC is planning to distribute 30,000 electric pottery wheels across the country to meet the demand of 400 Railway Stations. 30,000 electric pottery wheels will produce around 2 Crores Kulhads per day. This move will not only instill self-confidence amongst the potter communities in the area but also help in enhancing the health of the tourists while adding Indian flavor to the travel and tourism industry.”
KVIC has been conducting several trainings for empowerment of potters across India. In Rajasthan alone, KVIC has distributed more than 1500 electric pottery wheels since 2018, and has provided livelihood to around 6000 potters so far under the ‘Kumhar SashaktikaranYojna’.