New Delhi: It will be “desi” uniform for the paramilitary forces as they will soon be seen in uniforms made of handwoven fabric, or Khadi.
According to indications, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is learnt to have asked heads of all central forces to switch to ‘Make in India’ products and promote use of khadi, including using Khadi fabric for uniforms.
more than one million personnel of CRPF, BSF, SSB, ITBP, CISF, NSG and Assam Rifles will be using uniform made of terry-Khadi. These forces currently use cotton and terry-cotton, among other fabric, for uniforms, depending upon their durability.
The central forces are in advanced discussions with Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to procure raw material and the latter has shared samples of cotton and woollen uniforms, camouflage uniforms as well as blankets for the para-military forces. All these are likely to get final approval in the next few days, the officials said.
“The central forces have their specifications for the uniform. We have asked Khadi Commission to provide fabric as per our requirements,” a senior home ministry official said.
“Forces like ITBP and BSF may have different requirements than CRPF and SSB. It is important to mention here that the soldiers deployed in border areas or on patrol are required to carry weapons and arms for which the requirements are different.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating the use of Khadi and has termed it a “movement” to be adopted on mission mode. While several government institutions have begun using Khadi in response, this will probably mark the biggest such shift towards Khadi in the country.
It is estimated that each paramilitary force will place an order worth Rs 150-200 crore with KVIC.
The BSF (Border Security Force) alone is learnt to have sought 1.1 million metres of Khadi fabric for readying the uniforms of its personnel.
“This move will not only double the Khadi and Village Industries’ turnover, which is nearly Rs 75,000 crore currently, but also create millions of additional man hours for the Khadi artisans, who will weave millions of metres of Khadi fabric for our paramilitary forces,” KVIC chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena said.
The home ministry is also learnt to have asked the paramilitary canteens to preferably stock up on Khadi products like pickles, papad, honey, soaps and detergents, shampoos, phenol, tea and mustard oil.
“As the home minister has also asked the forces to keep different village industries’ products in all their canteens, it will certainly create faith and confidence among the artisans, as their niche products will now be showcased before the real guards of our nation,” Saxena said.
“The home minister’s instruction reflects Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government’s vision and commitment for the makeover of this signature fabric of nation.”