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Report | July 2015

SKAAT fete on Cotton Day salutes Gandhiji's spirit of freedom

If one thinks of cotton in the global textile arena, then the first country´s name that strikes a chord in memory is India. Cotton and India are inseparable since time immemorial. The White Gold, as cotton has been affectionately called by many generations of entrepreneurs and users, suggests purity, clarity and softness unrivalled by many other fibres. In India, Khadi, spun out of cotton, is not just a cloth, it is a whole movement started by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.Mahatma Gandhi once said, ´The spinning wheel represents to me the hope of the masses´ it brings about a silent and sure revolution´.

The Khadi movement promoted an ideology, an idea that Indians could be self-reliant on cotton and be free from the high priced goods and clothes which the British were selling to them. The British would buy cotton from India at cheap prices and export them to Britain where they were woven to make clothes. These clothes were then brought back to India to be sold at hefty prices. The khadi movement aimed at boycotting foreign goods including cotton and promoting Indian goods, thereby improving India´s economy. Mahatma Gandhi began promoting the spinning of khadi for rural self-employment and self-reliance (instead of using cloth manufactured industrially in Britain) in 1920s.

The antiquity of cotton in the Asian subcontinent has been traced to the 4th MillenniumBC. The fabrics dated approximately 3000 BC recovered from the Mohenjo-daro excavations in Sind (Pakistan)were identified to have originated from cotton plants. India had gained a pride of place in the global cotton statistics with the largest cropped area of 8.9 million hectares in 1996-97. In 2013-14, the total cotton area is 115.13 lakh hectares and production 375 lakh bales. India´s pride of place in cotton is unchallenged and the latest news that India has overtaken the US to occupy the first position in cotton production has been welcomed by the global textile community.

´Cotton´, termed as White Gold in some parts of the world, is called as the mother for the textile industry. ´White Gold´ is a historical and appropriate term for cotton, which continues to play an important role in the world economy. ´Mother Cotton´ is one of the textile industry´s greatest assets. To commemorate the importance of cotton, ´Cotton Day´ is celebrated all over the world annually on July 8. This day was created as a way of focusing the attention of all the textile people on ´Mother Cotton´.

Many entrepreneurs in India have been fascinated by cotton. No wonder, having come under the intense influence of cotton, researcher and scholar, G Radhakrishnan, Managing Director, SKAAT Group of Companies, was raring to do something for ´Mother Cotton´. It was on July 8, 1921 that Mahatma Gandhi launched a moment that Indians should spin their own cloth known as ´Khadi´ that became the fabric of the freedom struggle. As a follower of Gandhiji´s path and with respect to his words for the past six years, G Radhakrishnan has been celebrating July 8 as a ´Cotton Day´ by planting trees as payback to his society. SKAAT MD has taken up this mission of tree planting even further, and his enthusiasm and involvement in this activity is inimitable. G Radhakrishnan even suggested each and every textile person to plant a tree as a mark of respect and honour to his/her textile mother and observe this day as ´Cotton Day´. ´As a textile family, we textile people should joint hands and make this event a successful one,´ he proclaims.

G Radhakrishnan, who founded SKAAT in 1999, runs his company in the true spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and has turned it to emerge as one of the largest privately owned company in fancy segments in India. Innovations are at the heart of SKAAT´s stupendous growth all these years. The company has made rapid strides and all its innovations and investments since inception have focused on one core area that is solutions for fancy spinning. To spin ne

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