Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday laid the foundation stone for a mass shed for Khadi workers at Ponduru village in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district.
She also handed over a cheque for Rs 18 lakh to the Andhra Fine Khadi Karimikabhivrudhi (AFKK) Sangham, Ponduru, said a statement issued by her office.
Sitharaman handed over the contract document for the new building to the khadi workers association coinciding with the National Handloom Day.
The Finance Minister is on a two-day visit to the southern state and attended a programme organized by AFKK.
During her visit, Sitharaman garlanded a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Ponduru’s location has an interesting connection with Gandhi, considering his halt at Dusi railway station which is just 10 km away from the village during his Dandi March as part of India’s freedom struggle.
“On his Dandi March, Gandhiji had stopped at Dusi railway station, just 10 km away from Ponduru, to inspect the khadi work done there, which is renowned across the country,” said the statement.
Mahatma Gandhi also sent his son Devdas to the village to study khadi work.
“After staying for a week, he conveyed to Gandhiji how the women in the region spun on the single spindle chakra, a tradition that is still being followed in the area, one of the few areas to do so,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, multiple delegations, including Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Federation of Andhra Pradesh State Weavers Association and General Insurance Pensioners Association called on Sitharaman.
Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha MP G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and state Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy were also present with her.