Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spinning - An aid to India's self reliance....

I have yet to use my blog as a place to air my political point of view. I don't intend to start now but as the financial and political turmoil in our country continues to brew, it's in the forefront of my mind as it is in every one's.

I came across an article in my Spring 2009 issue of Spin Off Magazine ( a magazine about making yarn by hand) that I have read several times and still can't get over the concept of a government actually HELPING it's people become more self-reliant and not charging them for it.
People in India raise cotton. At one time they were selling their cotton cheaply to the English and then buying it back as expensive cloth. Gandhi suggested that the Indian people spin their own cotton yarn. He believed that the spinning wheel was a tool that would aid India in becoming more independent and self reliant. Hence the invention of a foldable, easily portable spinning wheel called the Charkha ( wheel in Indian).

This is called a book charkha. You can see the hinges in the middle and it actually folds up when not in use. I have only seen one used a couple of times. It is so amazing to watch these little wheels at work. It takes skill and practice but artisans that can do it make it look easy :)

A new spinning wheel has been designed in this country called an e-charkha. This is a charkha that generates electricity! Spinning on this wheel for approximately two hours generates enough juice to fill a battery pack that will run a radio or a light bulb for six or seven hours. Is this amazing or what!!! These folks spin a lot - imagine what this can do for these people. This entire concept just blows my mind. I love it!

The icing on the cake..........1.2 million rural Indians spin on these charkhas to make a living. The GOVERNMENT of India is going to somehow make these e-charkha wheels available to ALL of these people at LOW or NO COST - can you believe it ????

This is the best thing I've read in months. I know I should be concerned about what's going on in my own backyard but I have to tell you, this gives me hope in humanity......people helping people. Government supporting and working for their people.



29 comments:

Opal said...

what a wonderful article. I also find it inspiring! I think we all need to find ways to do such things.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Yes, thank-you for sharing that wonderful, exciting, innovative, positive, encouraging piece of news!

Sharrie said...

Boy, you can learn amazing things by reading. I enjoyed that article, too.

Franna said...

Now I have to go finish reading my copy!
Oh, how nice it would be for Governments to help everyday people.

- Franna

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

We just watched Ghandi movie last weekend and as always, it inspired me. Thanks for sharing this article - it is wonderful!!

Christy said...

That is amazing! I want a wheel that makes electricity and folds up. I wonder if we can get one somewhere.

DayPhoto said...

I love your header! That is one beautiful spider web!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Deb said...

Opal,
Thank you :) I agree with you 100%

Michelle,
Your welcome:)

Sharrie,
I almost missed the article, it was just a small blurb but it sure struck me in a big way :)

Franna,
I agree with you - we can always continue to hope and do our part to make that happen right?

Melissa,
Your welcome - I was very inspired by the article.

Christy,
I know the charkhas are available directly from India for about $90.00 but not sure if the e-charkha is available yet or not.

Linda,
Glad you like the web. One of those in the right place at the right time deals :)

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